These Invisible Writers Fill Government Forms For A Living
- IWB Post
- September 16, 2019
Filling government forms for a living is also a profession, if you were unaware of it. We got to know about some invisible writers after The News Minute had a chance to talk to them.
Varini, a 61-year-old woman from Kochi, was one of the first few women who took up the work of filling out forms like birth certificate, death certificate, marriage certificate, building permissions and much more in Kochi. “I can fill the longest form-marriage certificate applications- in 20 minutes. Other forms can be completed in ten minutes. I am paid, but poorer people say they don’t have much to give. I understand their pain. I could not earn much with this work, but I was able to meet my expenses and raise my children. We did not live in poverty,” she shares.
Varini works outside the Corporation office in Kochi, where she sits on a wooden crate with an umbrella tied to a short pole behind her. Talking about her working conditions, she shares, “Whether it is sun or rain, we have to work. Fish sellers and other street vendors work in the open. At least we have the luxury to sit quietly and write.”
Varini is just one of the many women who lend their writing service to people by filling about 30-50 forms a day and usually their day begins at 9am.
Another woman, Rajalekshmi, has also been doing the same work by sitting in front of the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation for seven years because she had the responsibility to take care of her family after her father passed away. “I had to look after my family. Since I was unmarried, I alone had to take care of everything. That’s when I started working her,” she shares.
Talking about her remuneration, she adds, “We usually get Rs 20 or Rs30 for filling up applications. Some give us more, others bargain and pay us very less, so it’s a struggle. If some writers charge more, officials will come and shout at us.