The comment referred to in the article “Are IT people the fall guys?” (Open Page, May 22) on a farmer's unpaid loan of Rs. 80,000 being equal to an “IT couple's one month salary” was uncalled for. It gave the impression that somehow IT professionals draw a salary they don't deserve. Why the reference to IT folks? There are many professionals in many industries who make that kind of money. I know many IT professionals whose parents are farmers and the entire family prospers on the combined income. There are folks who have quit the IT industry at 35 to continue life as farmers.
A comparison with farmers may not be the best way to explain the problems of IT professionals. But the letters to the editor over the past few days have shown that the IT people are still the favourite fall guys. Ask the present generation how much IT has contributed to it. The industry was perhaps the only one to offer decent employment to most graduates. It welcomed graduates from all disciplines.
Three years ago, I visited a remote village in Andhra Pradesh to collect an outstanding accumulated over five months. The borrower, a farmer, clutched my hand and expressed his inability to settle the dues. His family could not repay the loan in time and, with higher interest, it had become a huge debt. The monsoon had played havoc in his life and literally destroyed him. The lifestyle comparison of an IT employee with that of a farmer is ridiculous because they work in different environments. India can afford to do away with IT for a few days, not with vegetables.