CAREER GUIDE Friday, March 7, 2003, Chandigarh, India
Changing jobs to survive
Raghunath Sahuís deft hands used to create intricate designs from thin silver wires, until poverty drove him to sell betel leaves and nuts. Sahu was an artist of silver filigree, considered the queen of Orissaís handicrafts ó a craft that is a specialty of Cuttack, 26 km from here.




Changing jobs to survive
Jatindra Dash

Bhubaneswar: Raghunath Sahuís deft hands used to create intricate designs from thin silver wires, until poverty drove him to sell betel leaves and nuts.

Sahu was an artist of silver filigree, considered the queen of Orissaís handicrafts ó a craft that is a specialty of Cuttack, 26 km from here.

And he is not the only one to change jobs.

Thousands of traditional silversmiths in Orissa, left with little opportunity to exhibit their skills, are looking at other professions for a living.

Some have been working as labourers while others have opened shops or are selling vegetables, skipping the silver work that they have been doing over generations.

"On an average, a filigree worker gets work for six months and the amount he earns is insufficient for the entire year," silversmith Ramachandra Sahu, another artisan, said.

Cuttack has been known as the habitat of active filigree artisans for centuries. It is home to nearly 2,000 artisans. The city has around 350 filigree showrooms where the artisans mostly work.

Karimnagar, a city in Andhra Pradesh, also houses a large number of traditional filigree artisans.

Filigree jewellery is unique for its intricate designing. It is made of silver, drawn into fine wires and artistically joined into a frame of delicate design.

The artisans make ornaments like hairpins, nose pins, earrings, chains, lockets and birds; decorative items like chariots, wheels, table lights, glass plates, and cigarette cases and utility items like penholders, paper cutters, cigarette pipes, tray buttons, and coat pins.

The economic condition of the artisans remains deplorable. Exploitation by intermediaries is one of the major contributors to their plight.

The art uses high purity silver as raw material. This is not easily available and private traders who supply the silver are able to exploit the workers, said an official of the state labour department.

Silver currently costs above Rs 8,000 per kg. Most of this comes from Maharashtra. Traders provide this raw material to the artisans who make the finished product against labour charges, he added.

The wages are, however, fixed on the basis of the weight of the items produced rather than the skill involved.

Poorer artisans, who find it difficult to procure silver independently, work under traders.

The Labour Department finds itself helpless in taking action against the traders unless written complaints are filed, according to officials.

An artisan uses roughly 500 gm of silver each month. He barely manages a monthly remuneration between Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, an amount inadequate for survival, an official said.

The state government has been encouraging cooperative societies for better marketing of the products, but most of them have died out due to lack of funds.

Besides, most units where the filigree artists work do not have adequate ventilation, sanitation or light, making the artists victims of various diseases, he said.

Filigree items from Orissa sell predominantly in the domestic market. Sales total around Rs 500,000 every year.

"We export less than that to foreign countries," said Ranjan Saraf, a trader, "so we do not get much profit and are unable to pay better wages".

"We are not getting half of what a daily labourer earns in eight hours even though we work for nearly 12 hours," said Raghunath Sahu.

Several artisans have returned to their native villages to take up cultivation. IANS


Q Could you please suggest some recognised courses in ceramic design and also the job prospects in this field.

Tarun Grover

A Ceramic design involves designing pottery, crockery, tableware, sanitaryware and other decorative pieces by moulding clay into different shapes, glazing, and firing it in a kiln. The National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad (, offers courses in ceramic design at two levels in its Department of Industrial Design: The 4-year Graduate Diploma Programme in Design (GDPD), and 2 1/2-year Postgraduate Diploma Programme in Design (PGDPD). While the former is open to students with a pass in Class XII, the latter has now been revised to include glassware design, is meant for graduates in Engg/Archi/Ceramic Tech/Fine Arts-sculpture.

The Apeejay Institute of Design, New Delhi (affl to GNDU, Amritsar) offers a Bachelorís in Ceramic Design (4-yr). Eligibility: 10+2 (45%). M.S. University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Vadodara, offers degree as well as diploma courses in Ceramic Sculpture.

Small Industries Service Institutes (GoI, M/o SSI) also run short-term (3-mth) Technical Skill Development Courses in Ceramics and Studio Art Pottery (pottery, terracotta, stoneware, etc) from time to time in various cities (Delhi: SSI, Opp Modi Flour Mill, New Delhi 20, Tel 6838118). The fees are reasonable (Rs 2000/).

Yet another option is to train under a professional studio potter.

The current fascination for decorative and utilitarian pottery has popularised this field considerably. Job opportunities for ceramic designers exist in large-scale, medium-scale and small-scale units involved in manufacturing ceramic products. State emporia and handicraft exporters also employ these designers. You can also work on assignments for interior decorators and handicraft boutiques. The ever-expanding domestic and exports market for designer ceramic and art objects offers good scope for entrepreneurs. After acquiring higher academic qualifications in this field, you can even hold faculty positions in colleges and institutions.

Foreign studies

Q I am completing class X this year. I would like to do my bachelorís in the USA. I would be grateful if you could give me some information about the new version of SAT.

Charu Gandhi

A The SAT format is being considerably modified. The new test will have a tougher math section (instead of asking you to compare the volume or area of different objects, your knowledge of high school algebra and geometry will be tested).

There will be a greater emphasis on reading and writing. The notoriously tricky word analogy section will be replaced instead by questions that will gauge reading ability (short reading passages will be added to the existing long ones). Hence the verbal section will be appropriately termed "Critical Reading". So you would do well to brush up your writing skills in preparation for the change.

A new section called the SAT Writing Section, containing multiple-choice grammar questions as well as a written essay, will be added.

You will be able to earn a maximum score of 2,400 on the restructured 3-part, 3 1/2-hr exam (each of the parts will be scored on a 200-800 point basis.

However, the proposed changes, which have been approved by the appropriate authorities, are being field tested presently and would only be applicable from March, 2005, for students planning to enter college in 2006. Until then, the present format will apply. Incidentally, the test fee has been raised from $26 to $38.

For those who donít have the patience to wait for a month before the college board results arrive, the ETS will end your doubts ó for a price. Both SAT I and SAT II scores are available on the hotline by phone or on the Web within 2 weeks for a $13 surcharge.

For further details, check out the official SAT website:

A barometer of academic quality and a gut-wrenching rite of passage for anyone seeking admission to undergrad courses of study in the USA, the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) is taken by over 2.5 million students all over the world each year. Many of these, even in India, pay handsome fees to an industry that has sprung up on the claim that it can improve scores on the test through "pre-test coaching".

Two good books I could recommend are: "Baronís SAT Guide" and "The College Boardís 10 Real SATs." The books come with free sample software to give you a real feel of the test.


Q What are the various branches of engineering one can opt for at the BE/BTech-level?

Shridhar Monga

A I am glad you asked. That there are nearly 50-odd branches of engineering and technology, came as a real eye-opener for me. However, Iím listing here the 32 courses at the undergraduate degree level whose nomenclature has been approved by the AICTE.

Now you go ahead and take your pick. But if you are still confused, donít blame me. Remember you asked for it! Aeronautical engg, agricultural engg, automobile engg, applied electronics & instrumentation, automation & robotics, bio-medical engg, biotechnology, ceramic engg/tech, chemical engg, civil engg, computer science & engg, electrical engg/electrical & electronics engg, electronics & communication engg, environmental engg, food tech, industrial engg & mgt, information tech, instrumentation & control engg, leather tech, marine engg, materials sc & tech, mechanical engg, metallurgical engg, mining engg, oil & paint tech, polymer science & rubber tech, production engg, printing tech, pulp & paper tech, sugar tech, textile engg/tech, transportation engg.

Many more specialisations and (sub-specialisations) are available at the postgraduate level (ME/MTech).

Hospital Management

Q I am keen on studying hospital management. Please enlist some of the leading institutions offering this course through correspondence.

Kunal Khanna

A Hereís a list of some courses in the subject through distance learning mode:

Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS), Pilani 333031. Course: MPhil (Hospital & Health System). Eligibility: Sponsored candidates with MBBS with 1-2 yrs exp or BE/BPharm/MSc/MBA with 1-2 yrs exp in hospitals. Christian Medical College (Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical Univ), Thorapudi Post Office, Vellore 632002. Course: Certificate Programme in Hospital Admin (1-yr). Eligibility: MBBS with 5 yrs exp.

IGNOU & Academy of Hospital Administration (AHA). Course: PG Diploma in Hospital & Health Mgt (1-yr). Eligibility: Bachelorís degree in medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, and other related health areas with 2-5 yr hosp exp.

Indian Hospital Association, Sarita Vihar, Delhi. Course: Diploma in Hospital Mgt

National Institute of Health & Family Welfare, New Mehrauli Road, Munirka, New Delhi 110067. Course: PG Certificate Programme in Health & Family Welfare Management & Hospital Management (1-yr).

Symbiosis Centre of Health Care, Pune 411004. Course: PG Diploma in Hospital & Healthcare Mgt (1-yr autonomous, online).


Q My son who is in class XI wants to pursue a career in medicine. He suffers from occasional attacks of epilepsy, but his condition is under control. I want to know if there is any restriction for those suffering from epilepsy for pursuing medicine? Is he likely to face any difficulty at the time of filling up his admission forms?

Amita Lodhis

A There is no restriction on anyone suffering from epilepsy as far as practising medicine is concerned. Since there is no physical examination of the candidates in the MBBS entrance exam, he is unlikely to face any problems while filling the forms. And we have the Medical Councilís word on it. Besides, medical science is now so advanced that most epileptic conditions can be effectively controlled (and managed) with proper medication. Besides, contrary to popular belief, epileptic attacks donít usually come on without any prior warning ó so itís perfectly O.K. to opt for medicine or any other profession for that matter.

If necessary, at the specialisation or super-specialisation stage it may be prudent to avoid areas that involve surgery or working with high-precision instruments, which still leaves your son with a sufficiently wide and fascinating choice of career options. It may perhaps reassure you to know that the chief of cardio-thoracic surgery at one of our premier medical research institutes suffered from this very condition! The only place where he is likely to be barred from service is the defence forces or civil aviation.

Hotel Management

Q I am doing a course in hotel management at an institute in South India. My college has not been able to arrange any meaningful job for most of my classmates. I have now come home to my parents for the holidays. Are there any related jobs I can do part-time to keep busy and earn a bit of pocket money?

Sweety Kotwal

A You bet there is. If you are enterprising, you could work part-time with a fast-food chain like McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Barista, Nirulas to get some first-hand on-the-job experience.

You could even take a shot at event management. Most firms take on part-timers on a daily/assignment basis. Alternatively, why not try your hand at timeshare marketing? Although the work is temporary (thatís the key factor), the money earned is sometimes equal to that in a full-time job. While you can happily work part-time (4-5 hrs), you will also get an idea of what it is like to work in the Sales & Marketing department of a hotel. This will also help you build a rapport with people in the industry, which will come in handy subsequently when you are looking for a proper full-time job once you complete the course. Many hotel chains are also looking at introducing timeshare marketing as a part of their back-up sales operations.

ó Pervin Malhotra, Director, Caring

Please send in your query preferably on a postcard along with your name, complete address and academic qualifications to: 

Editor, Query Hotline, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160020, or at [email protected]



1. Name the only bowler to have claimed 500 wickets in One-day international cricket.

2. Name the Sri Lankan cricketer who recently created history with a hat-trick off the first three balls of the match against Bangladesh in the World Cup-2003.

3. Who recently became the fastest bowler (Test or One-day) in the world by bowling a delivery at 161.3 kph (100.23mph)?

4. Which country has scored the lowest score in a match in the history of One-day international cricket?

5. Name the batsman who has scored the fastest World Cup century.

6. Who has scored the maximum number of centuries in the cricket World Cup history?

7. Who has scored the maximum number of centuries in One-day international cricket?

8. Name the only cricketer to have been suspended from international cricket for drug abuse.

9. Which Indian bowler has the best bowling figures in the cricket World Cup history?

10. Name the bowler with the best bowling figures in the cricket World Cup history.

11. Name the first batsman in the history of One-day international cricket to score 12,000 runs.

12. Which country has the record of 12 successive One-day international victories?

13. Which player has hit the maximum number of runs in an over in a cricket World Cup match?

14. Which country was recently beaten by the biggest margin of runs in the history of One-day international cricket?

15. Which country recently suffered its 32nd consecutive loss in One-day international cricket?


School address.......................

Winners of quiz 176: The first prize by draw of lots goes to Keshav Sharma, VIII, Chalet Day School, The Mall, near Shimla Club, Shimla.

Second: Anish Kamboj, IV, Spring Fields Public School, Ratauli Road, Govind Pura, Yamunanagar.

Third: Mishika Singla, VIII, Alpine School, 101-C, Model Town , Patiala.

Answers to quiz 176: Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan; NR Narayana Murthy & Nandan Nilekani; Russia; Metsat; Three; Rajasthan; Maharashtra; 1903; Border Roads Organisation ; Suryakiran; Dr RA Mashelkar; Bander Seri Begawan; Chico Twala; Zimbabwe & Kenya; 14.

Cash awards of Rs 400, 300 and 200 are given to the first, second and third prize winners, respectively. These are sent at the school address.

ó Tarun Sharma