From all the conversations I have had with her, I have learnt that:
- Trainees are paid a pittance as "stipend" (Inas gets Rs. 1200 per month, which is the best from among all the hotels that train students in Mumbai; by the way, that translates to under $ 40/= per month).
- Compared to the measly stipend that they get paid, they are made to work like dogs ... at least 10-12 hours a day.
- Standards of food and general hygiene are as poor as at lesser prestigious hotels once you peek behind the glamorous and ostentatious exteriors; Inas tells me about this and has pledged never to eat at the hotel. She says she has actually seen the cooks cutting coriander without washing them, dicing vegetables and adding them to the pot without washing them, etc. She also saw a cockroach gaily sauntering among the various pots and pans!
- Food served to the employees is not even 10% of that which is served to the guests, is often repetitive, and rarely something to look forward to. Internees can expect little more than what is given to the permanent employees.
- Inas' life was limited to dressing up and going out at about 6 a.m., and returning at 7 p.m. or so, daily. She would take a quick bath, have the one meal at home and go to sleep by 9 p.m.
- Many of our own day and night time activities and household chores had to be tailored around Inas' schedule and Hannah, my younger daughter, and I, had to do the work that normally would be shared among the three of us. We could not attend night programs, watch night-time movies, or go for last shows to theatres.
There are some more things, but I will leave that to some other post.