Many villagers in Tusli, India, make films for YouTube and Tiktok. Apparently they were able to increase their income.

The village of Tusli, located in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh, has recently risen to some internet prominence. The reason: Some media have reported that many earn their money there as YouTubers.

Half the village shoots YouTube videos

As reported by the Indian news agency ANI, among others, around 40 percent of the villagers of Tusli now earn their living from YouTube. They fill several dozen channels on the video platform.

The “cult” started many years ago with two friends: Gyanendra Shukla and Jai Verma. At that time they quit their jobs – one worked at the Indian State Bank (SBI), the other as a teacher – and they began careers as YouTubers.

Giving up old jobs

“I worked for SBI as a network engineer. My office had a fast internet connection early on, which I used to watch YouTube videos,” Shukla says in an interview with ANI. “It was 2011, 2012, there were only a few YouTube channels and I was unhappy in my 9-to-5 job. So I quit and dedicated myself to YouTube. Today I have many followers.”

At first, the two friends struggled with the excitement: they were camera shy. But that changed when they were asked one day if they wanted to play in “Ramlila”. This is a day-long theatrical performance of the national epic Ramyana, in which traditionally the villagers were also involved. After they were there on stage, everything changed for the two and they started shooting their videos with more ease and self-confidence. “Today, almost everyone here produces videos for YouTube and earns money with them,” says Shukla.

Income tripled

Former chemistry teacher Verma adds: “A lot of people copied us. It’s no longer just YouTube, but Tiktok and Reels as well.” And that can be quite lucrative: According to Verma, he has tripled his income as a content creator compared to his teaching salary.

Not only men take advantage of the opportunities, women can also acquire and pass on knowledge in this way. Youtuber Pinki Sahu explains: “Actually, women are not allowed to go outside here. But thanks to Youtube we can teach them a lot. They learn in such a way that the girls can also achieve something.”

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