Should Teenagers work Part-Time in India like they do in the West?

Teenagers in India don’t work. They all rely on their parents for their financial requirements. Everything is given to them for free, from tuition fees to everyday socks. Teenagers in India have no option other than being dependent on their parents for the monthly expenditure money that they get. Some parents can’t even afford to give their children pocket money, which is fine too.

In this economy, it is so hard to raise a child and even more hard when the bread earner of the family is only one person. We should not blame our parents for that. It is their first time living as well just like us.

Why do teenagers in the West work but we don’t?

Teenagers in the Western world like the United States do have part-time jobs. They earn some cash by working some hours per day. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered any teenager in India who works. The root cause of this problem is not very straightforward.

The first thing to blame is “our lovely Indian society”. Our society does not support labor dignity at all. After all this education and enlightenment, society still looks down on a number of occupations. We, as a society, believe that only jobs like doctor and engineer, teacher, or anyone in the corporate world deserve to be respected. But we have to respect all kinds of jobs. Jobs such as cashier, salesperson, cab driver, etc deserve respect. Just because these jobs don’t require a master’s degree doesn’t mean we should look down upon these occupations.

The root problem of this issue is that our parents are too afraid to permit their children to do the job. Why are they afraid? Now that’s probably because they don’t want any of their relatives to know that their child is working. If the child is working, it means that the parents are not able to afford their expenses in their language. The problem here is they think. They overthink. The overthinking leads to conclusions like the relatives might think ‘we are shameless, we can’t even afford the expense of our own child, and how will we face the neighborhood when our child is working”.

This is the reality of Indian parents. They spend all their life worrying about what the world would think. They contemplate every decision they take because they are scared of other’s opinions. Basically, they are just living off of their relatives’ fear. This is doubled when they think they are obligated to carry the legacy of conservatism with them. This, however, is completely wrong. Someone has to break the chain.

If you want to change something, you shouldn’t worry about changing the whole world around you, YOU should focus on yourself. You should break the chain. You should seek part-time work. You should convince your parents.

If one can do it, then eventually the people one hangs out with will also get influenced. They might want to work too. By doing this, it will slowly but surely get normalized in our society. And our parents will not think of part-time as a disrespectful act as if they can’t afford to raise us.

The things here are not about parent’s money not being able to raise us. Working by yourself will teach us how hard it is to earn money. When the teens realize that money doesn’t always come easy, then they will truly value money. It is very easy to spend someone else’s hard-earned money but not so much when you work for the money yourself.


Another reason why Indian teenagers don’t work is because the jobs don’t pay us hourly. The jobs in the US will pay their employees hourly. But that is not the case in India.

For example: the salary of a part-time cashier is $8 per hour. Then the teenager who has just got the job will plan his/her whole day to make some time for work. It might only be for 3 hours. But something is better than nothing, always. He can also work extra during the weekends. Now this teenager can easily make 550- 650 dollars a month depending on how many hours he’s worked.

This, however, is impossible to have in India. Jobs don’t pay us hour-wise. There is no flexibility here and even if we suppose that we get the flexibility, we still won’t get payed hourly.

So, the issue that we are facing is not so simple to solve.


The simple answer to this simple question is yes. Teenagers should work a part time. Not every parent is able to give thousands of rupees to their child for miscellaneous purposes.

And yes again, teenagers should have cash with them. Not so plenty of it but atleast some amount would do good.

Teenagers should be able to buy their own CD’s, pay their own cafe bill when going out with friends or pay for the movie ticket. I am a huge supporter of this because asking your parents for so much can be too much.

As cliche as it sounds but parents are also living their life for the first time. You shouldn’t put your Evey WANT on their shoulder. For eg: going out with friends, seeing a movie, buying things online are not necessarily our needs. We do these things for fun.

Fun should be our responsibility. We should not make our parents feel guilty if they are not able to meed our WANTS. Because being to pay for our living is a blessing itself.