Models complain of being underpaid in India

Written by PTI | Mumbai | Updated: Aug 30 2013, 01:39am hrs
BusinessIn fashion industry, male models are paid even lesser primarily because they get less number of shows to do. Reuters
Fashion models feel their profession is underpaid in India and working in the fashion industry comes with lot of pressure.

Most of the models say they keep representing collections of various designers out of passion for their job.

"Lot of people think that being in the world of glamour we are treated like goddess, but nothing is true. It is a life of glamour but it comes with lot of weightage and pressure. Our job requires us to be in shape, our skin and hair go for a toss, we work at odd hours," model Nethra Raghuraman said.

Despite all this, models are not paid well in India,

said Nethra, who has been in fashion world for over ten years.

"I feel recession, whether it shows anywhere else or not, it definitely affects fashion world. We can get paid enough for the kind of work and things we put in for being glamorous. We are off course not paid that well," she added.

Echoing similar sentiments, model Archana Akhil Kumar says, "Models are not paid well and India has to grow in payment scale. Models abroad are paid much higher. I think we need to start looking into that and be paid for the amount of work we do in India because our country is rich."

Even model Alesia Raut feels models are paid less and modelling is the only way of earning money for them as the commercial (advertisement) world is taken over by Bollywood celebrities and sports personalities.

With numerous fashion weeks being organised, models earn Rs 7 to 8 lakh annually which can even go up to about Rs 30-40 lakh for India's top catwalk brigade.

In fashion industry, male models are paid even lesser primarily because they get less number of shows to do.

"In terms of pay scale I don't think there is much improvement. There is a cap limit which is not crossed mostly. For girls it is more than guys, beyond a certain point designers don't pay. For girls it is upto Rs 50,000 (per show) or even more and for guys it is Rs 30,000 to Rs 35,000," model Amit Khanna, who is in modelling world for eight years, said.

"This is the only industry where girls are given more preference than guys. This (profession) has a shorter shelf life, you can't extend your time period for long time. You can have five to six quality years and then there is a decline, and then gracefully retire. You get confidence, exposure and you can use that as a stepping stone that can take you to different places," he added.

Model Deepti Gujral, however, thinks models are paid well. "I think they can never be enough... but more the merrier."

However, models feel that fashion world has evolved over a period of time as designers are bringing better collections.

"I have been modelling for ten years. It has changed for better. Designers are clear of what they want to project on ramp, on the basis of that create look according to the garment. There is lot of clarity, focus today," Deepti said.

"Certain clothes are made for ramp and some for the market where people can go and buy," she said.

Though it is tough to lead a life of a supermodel, the only thing that keeps them going is their passion.

"Despite all these things (issues and problems) you meet people, make good friends. There is a sense of freedom being a model that the film industry, corporate sector does not give you. Your individuality counts as that is what makes you stand out as a model," Nethra said.