"Earlier, I earned Rs 12,000-Rs 15,000 a month. Now, we earn Rs 30,000-35,000 a month," says one MSc degree holder who is now a successful YouTuber.
A village of some 3,000 people in Chattisgarh’s Raipur has been thrown onto the map courtesy its social media savvy residents who have made it a ‘YouTubers’ hub’. With about 40 YouTube channels, the village of Tulsi has learnt the art of making serious money via videos, more that the traditional professions around offer.
Many have quit their jobs and now earn twice and thrice as much from their YouTube channels which span topics in not just entertainment but education as well. Everyone participates with the locals becoming serious content creators.
The culture has become a rage, as the villagers rose over inhibitions and embraced the art in a journey started by two friends a decade ago.
Two youths, an SBI network engineer named Gyanendra Shukla, and an MSc qualified tutor, Jai Verma, left their jobs to start their YouTube career.
"I worked in SBI earlier, as a network engineer. My office had high-speed internet and I used to watch YouTube videos there. I was already fond of movies. In 2011-12, a new version of YouTube was launched. At that time, there were very few channels on youtube. I was not satisfied with my 9 to 5 job. So I left the job and started with YouTube. Till now, we have made about 250 videos and have 1.15 lakh subscribers," Shukla was quoted by ANI.
Making serious money from YouTube
Jai Verma, another YouTuber said, "Seeing us, people started making videos for YouTube, later for TikTok and now even for reels. I have an MSc degree in Chemistry. I was a part-time teacher and had a coaching institute. Earlier, I earned Rs 12,000-Rs 15,000 a month. Now, we earn Rs 30,000-35,000 a month.
Losing stage fright
"Earlier we used to hesitate while creating content on YouTube and could not act in public places, but when some village elders asked us to act in Ramlila, our hesitation went away. Today almost all the people of this village make videos for YouTube and earn a lot," Shukla added.
"We got to learn a lot from Ramlila. The stage fear went away after that. There are about 3,000 people in the village. Out of which 40 percent of people are connected to YouTube," he added.
Source of empowerment for girls
It has also become a source of empowerment for the girls in the village, as one creator Pinki Sahu said, “YouTube is also a means of empowering girls in the Naxal-hit state. It has been 1.5 years since I started. We`ve around 40 YouTube channels. Everyone here participates. Women here are generally not allowed to step out of houses but through our YouTube channel, we have given them a lot of information that girls too can do something."