I got a mail from a student of Business Management in New Jersey, USA, yesterday morning, asking me if I would be interested in writing some papers for his submission to his institution as he was facing problems doing so on his own.
For some background: Till three years ago, before I set up my agency, I was an active writer/editor for some online writing agencies. I suppose that my name is still on some rolls in the cyberspace and this student must have come across it by chance. Obviously, he was of South Asian origin from his name and must have thought that I would be keen to make some dollar income.
I responded that I do not write ghost papers for students as a matter of principle and requested him to find someone else. He responded with a request to speak to me on the phone and asked for my telephone number. Since it is not subject to spam calls and messages, I gave my land line number and he promptly rang me up to plead with me to change my mind. He thought that I would be swayed by his talking to me in Urdu, as his English was atrocious, which gave me the clear indication that he must be of Pakistani origin. I continued to demur and he said that he would pay me handsomely (sic) for my efforts and mentioned that he would pay up to US$ 50.00 per paper of about 1500 words. By any standard, that is a very attractive payment for such work and I am sure that some one from India will benefit. I finally persuaded him to find someone else by pleading my present inability due to my recovery program.
I subsequently discovered online that this is a thriving business with many students in the West getting their homework and theses done by outsourcing to India. I wonder what these people learn if they outsource homework to others! It must be topical enough for such a cartoon to evolve!