Monday, October 1, 2007

Indian Call Centers: O.K., now I feel kinda bad for them

According to a story in today's Times Online, call center employees (the ones who tell you their name is “Arthur” or some such thing when you call Dell, etc.) are suffering from alarming numbers of heart attacks and suicides.

After years of night shifts, junk food and abuse from irate callers, the youthful generation that made India the call-centre capital of the world are facing burnout.

Reports of heart attacks, depression, suicides and diabetes among workers in their twenties have so alarmed ministers that they are to draw up a health policy for the flagship IT sector.

The problem is so acute that some estimates suggest that £100 billion could be wiped off India’s national income unless more is done to protect the health of its workers. Anbumani Ramadoss, the Health Minister, said of the IT sector: “It’s the fastest-growing industry in our country but it is most vulnerable to lifestyle diseases. Its future growth could be stunted if we don’t address the problem now.”

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