ibnlive.com, March 21, 2006 at 16:22
New Delhi: Have one-night stands, casual affairs and drugs become part and parcel of life for the young faces and polite voices in India’s call centre circuit?
This is exactly what the British media is suggesting.
In a revelation that is bound to kick up a storm, a survey conducted by The Times, London, among people working in Indian call centres for British and American companies found that one in five of those questioned has had a workplace affair even though the majority of them were married.
In a second survey, one in four call centre staff said they regularly had casual affairs.
In what is suggestive of a lifestyle seen only in Hollywood movies and British TV, the high-tech cities like Gurgaon, Bangalore, Chennai and Chandigarh are breeding a work-hard, play-hard culture where "liberal attitudes to sex and club drugs are thriving," The Times, London, said in the report.
"The staff work under high pressure and are rewarded with ‘team-building’ parties," which in turn is leading to this social decadence.
"They are leading a social revolution against traditional Indian values by having extramarital affairs and taking party drugs," The Times said.
The report said many call centre staffers admitted to casual affairs while one in four admitted to casual sex. In the second survey, one in five said they had had an affair with a colleague.
Even senior police officers have admitted to this ‘guilty secret’. The Western companies behind the call centres are causing a breakdown in the fabric of Indian family life, says Shankar Rao, a deputy commissioner with Delhi police.
"The companies should insist on certain standards. I want to make sure these call centres do not become dens of evil," Times quoted him as saying.
"There should be counselling available to make sure the staff live in conformity with society, and not indulging in drugs and sex. They should make sure they do not work more than three nights a week. It’s causing mischief."