City youngsters find innovative ways to make that little extra

Financial independence is a fairly new idea among middle-class Indian students, who are used to their parents taking care of their needs. Of course, it's a different story among the less privileged, where laws have failed to stop child labour.

With increasing globalisation, it's become a rite of passage for urban teens to think out of the box to keep themselves profitably occupied during their free time. It's twice the thrill for them — they get to make their own money by doing something they enjoy.

Nishat Tasneem, unlike other pursuers of spectator sports who settle themselves comfortably in front of the television, loves hanging around the stadium. Her legwork paid off last year when she was asked to manage some boxes inside the stadium by one of the sponsors. As it happened to be summer vacation too, she could work all day as she watched her favourite sport.

The experience has brought her a job at the IPL matches this year too. She aspires to become a commentator one day, and has chosen to pursue a degree in media studies.

Likewise, Pranav Y., whose hobby was sketching, now pursues a degree in cartooning and animation.

Dancing to her tune

Brunda K.V., like many girls, liked dancing as a child. When she was old enough to think about money and independence, she formed her own dance troupe and started giving performances within the city. “I only use the money we earn to buy pretty things for myself, but it is such an ego boost!” she says.

Ranjitha S. taught herself to make attractive jewellery using something as simple as coloured paper and has now started earning a little money by selling them too.

But alas! She had to spend her earnings in buying a gift for her brother who, evidently, couldn't be given any of her jewellery. For most of these youngsters, it is not as if a part time job is a source of necessary income. But, the experience they gain in doing them seems to go a long way in shaping their careers.