BBC Learning Zone Clips

CLIP 12546

Experiences of servants in India

Experiences of servants in India
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Key Info
  • Experiences of servants in India
  • Duration: 03:23
  • A punkawallah from the latter days of British rule in India describes his work - pulling a system of ropes which operated fans around the house of a wealthy English family. Indian servants were paid low wages with few prospects of earning more as time went on. Sulaiman describes how he moved on from being a punkawallah to become a servant but found that he was at the mercy of his employers and that he could expect little or no job security.
  • Subject:

    History

       Topic:

    Slavery

  • Keywords: punkawallah, servant, India
Ideas for use in class
  • Do you think servants were treated the way they were treated because they were Indians or simply because they were servants? How could you compare the treatment of servants in India with the treatment of servants in Britain?
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 16x9

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