Trend Many youngsters are taking up part-time jobs to earn money to fund shopping sprees or to save for their higher education, writes Vaishnavi Krishnakumar

Gone are the days when children waited for their parents’ nod for an increase in their pocket money. Today’s youth want to stand on their own feet. As the trend of taking up part-time jobs is on the rise, we converse with a couple of youngsters who juggle work and studies.

A columnist in an international journal, spoken English tutor, translator ... the list of roles that class 10 student Aiswarya Anish dons goes on. When asked about how this student of the Trivandrum International School manages multiple jobs, the aspiring IAS officer says: “I am passionate about what I do; hence I don’t consider it as work.”

In the Little Reader’s Club in Kowdiar, where Aiswarya conducts classes, she encourages children between the ages of four to 12 to take up reading as a hobby and improve their general knowledge. “Working with Little Reader’s Club helps me learn a lot and it prepares me for the civil services examinations.”

This avid reader, who recently published her collection of poems called The Crescent Smile , believes that investing on books is the best thing to do and therefore spends the money that she earns for the same. “The rest of the money is saved for my education. My parents have been of great support all these years, so I would love to contribute and do my part,” says the high achiever.

“Earning for ourselves will give us a sense of freedom, and isn’t that the independence that everyone craves for?” asks TV anchor Bhavya Meera. A former student of Frankfinn Academy in Kochi, Bhavya has been working as an anchor for two years now. Currently the host of ‘Super Star Junior’ on Amrita TV, Bhavya saves her money for the future. “I do spend some money on my wardrobe as my job requires me to look good always. In this way I don’t have to trouble my parents,” she remarks. Bhavya is of the opinion that it is only when you earn that you understand the true value of money and the effort that goes behind it. “The pleasure of purchasing items with the money that you earn cannot be replaced. Everyone needs to experience it,” adds Bhavya.

But for some, such extra income is not just mere pocket money but a matter of livelihood. Rythik Shaik who hails from Poojappura, has always had an eye for photography. Rythik did not want to bother his financially strained family for his personal expenses. After receiving a DSLR camera from his uncle as a gift, there was no looking back for Rythik. Now with his own page on Facebook, ‘Rythik Shaik Photography’, this 23-year-old clicks for weddings and portfolios and is making a mark with his skill. Currently studying at National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology in Kozhikode, this MCA student is also into online advertisements. “I do online advertisements for a company in the United States. They paid me for giving them 189,079 page views,” says the elated photographer. Rythik hopes to do more work and support his family financially. “I dream big and by God’s grace everything is going right. I am the eldest in the family and it is my time to contribute,” he adds.

Rythik’s brother Rubin too is of the same opinion. Nineteen-year-old Rubin and his friends are called to help out in hotels in and around the city such as Vivanta by Taj, The Leela and Uday Samudra, when they are short of staff. Apart from the fact that cooking is what Rubin is most passionate about, he takes up these assignments to fund his personal expenses. “I don’t get pocket money from my parents and I don’t crib about it. I like to earn it myself,” says the strong-willed boy. A student of Institute of Hotel Management, Kovalam, Rubin has been working as a chef for the last two years. “An early exposure to the industry will enable me to perform and earn better when I land a permanent job in the future,” he says.

In Jagathy, we meet another inspiring youngster. Anila Padmadevar has always been good in academics. But she went an extra mile by taking classes for students who need coaching. Twenty-year-old Anila has been holding classes for school students of all ages for the last five years. “I teach all the subjects for primary students. From class five to 10, I focus on English, mathematics and science. Class11 and 12 students are taught only mathematics,” she explains. She conducts the classes in her house. A final year B.Com student of NSS College for Women, Neeramankara, Anila hands the money that she earns every month to her mother. “That is me doing my share of contribution to the family. Some of the money has been spent on my own education as well,” she says. Smart and talented as she is, she wants to go for further studies and secure a job. “But I would still want to teach because apart from the money, it also gives me lot of joy to be interacting with young minds.”

Earning gives us a sense of freedom –Bhavya Meera

I am the eldest in the family and it is my time to contribute –Rythik Shaik

I like to earn pocket money myself

–Rubin Shaik

I am passionate about what I do –Aiswarya Anish