Shop-stops for Holiday Homework

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On the outside, it's a nondescript stationary shop. But a few parents in Indirapuram (Ghaziabad) know that there's a lot more to this place than just stationary. It outsources project work assigned by schools. Parked in Shipra Society's central market, the store is the parents' means to rid themselves of homework blues. Projects are taken care of here if you're willing to shell out a few hundred rupees. Every vacation break, several enterprising housewives and schoolteachers come to the rescue of parents bogged down with holiday homework. The unassuming shop is just one among several in the National Capital Region through which they meet the need of parents.


Chanda Saxena (35), who works with a multinational company, is one such parent who has been forced to resort to outsourcing some of her son's homework every year. 'My kid has to complete a Mathematics project in which he has to prepare a chart, two models and a report demonstrating the use of multiplication during a visit to the candy store. The school has completely gone overboard in name of innovation,' said Saxena. Her child is seven years old and a Class II student of a school in Noida. 'Last year, I had to take a week off from work to help him finish his homework. I have no choice but to outsource it to a neighbourhood homework aunty. I usually spend anywhere between INR 250 to INR 300 on it every vacation,' added the parent. Parents, especially working parents, can spend anything between INR 200 to INR 1,000 for project that has been outsourced. The higher the class is, the more expensive the project rates. This reporter approached the stationary shop in Shipra Society's central market pretending to be a parent distressed by her (fictitious) five-year-old child's project work. The reporter was told that the project (model of an oasis) would be made by a biology teacher for about INR 250 and would be handed over in week's time.

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