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Motionless and emotionless: Not a model life for these art posers
Hindustan Times

The daily-wage art model at Government College of Art, Sector, 10 are paid ₹45 for semi-nude and ₹35 for dressed pos


Do not ask about my life! Your story will fall short of words, said Kaushlya, who is working as a daily-wage art model at the Government College of Art, Sector 10, for last 40 years.
Kaushlya, 65, first posed as an art model at the age of 25. She was introduced to the job by her neighbour in 1978. Back then, she used to work as a domestic help in the city and was offered ₹5 for posing nine hours a day.
On being questioned why she took the job, she said, “I wanted financial help as I had to shoulder the responsibility of my in-laws and four children. I used to pose as an art model and clean houses in the morning and evenings to raise money.”
At present, art model are being paid ₹45 per hour for semi-nude pose and ₹35 for dressed pose.
‘People do not find our job respectable’
Art model Rameshwar, 52, joined the profession 16 years ago. He mostly poses semi-nude for the students.
Rameshwar, who hails from Amethi, said, “I was paid ₹10 per hour in 2002. Earlier, people used to pose nude, but nobody poses nude now. Once in a while, some senior professors ask us to do it, but nobody agrees.”
“At times, people make nasty jokes about my profession as they do not find the job respectable.”
Another art model Jagdish Prashad, who has been working as an art model for last 35 years, said, “A social stigma is attached to this job. People do not consider me as a decent person.”
“Log bolte hain thore se paison ke liye nanga ho jata hai ye, ganda aadmi hai ye (People say I pose nude for a small sum of money, I am a bad man).”
In the past, women used to pose nude. They were paid ₹22 per hour for posing nude in the 1980s. Art model Kaushlya said, “Because of poverty, ladies used to pose nude, but nobody does it now.”
Delayed payments, but no complaints
Kaushlya said back then art models used to be paid in cash on every Friday. “For the work I am doing now, I will be paid after two months. The delay is because of the bank system.”
“My aim is to collect ₹15,000 by December as I have to get my eyes operated. The doctors told me the surgery is free, but I will have to pay for the lenses.”
Differently abled Sunita, who works as an art model, said, “I cannot work because of polio. I am grateful to the college authorities that hired a tenth fail woman as an art model. I do not find the job exciting, but at least I am independent.”



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