Unable to afford an apartment in Silicon Valley, a contractor working for Facebook is being forced to live out of her car.
According to a report in Daily Mail, Parsha, who has earned a sobriquet ‘Pinky’ for her pink hair, pink car and pink dog, is already burdened with student loans and medical bills.
“I tell people all the time, stop looking at what somebody got and what you see on the outside,” ‘Pinky’ Parsha was quoted as saying.
According to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, the average asking rent for a one-bedroom apartment in northern California neighbourhood is over $2,300 (roughly Rs. 1,47,500) a month – which Parsha, who has two children, cannot afford.
So she lives in a car and has not yet divulged to her co-workers about her condition, fearing she may be looked down upon at her workplace.
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“They would be shocked that I’m going through that because they would be like ‘I see you smiling at work, you appear to be happy. You look normal, you look clean’,” Parsha said.
But now she plans to make her living condition public, hoping to stir a debate about the high rents in the Bay area neighbourhood.
“I think that companies need to look at the salaries, are we paying employees enough to survive?”
According to Facebook, the company “understands and recognises the burdens a higher cost of living has on the less prosperous part of the community”.
“Facebook is committed to being active and responsible neighbours by supporting the communities near Menlo Park headquarters,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying.
According to the report, Facebook claims to have invested an initial $20 million (Rs. 128.3 crores) contribution to community groups, philanthropies and companies in an effort over the next few months and years to grow their regional impact.
When asked about Parsha’s living conditions, Facebook said that Parsha was not a direct employee, but worked for a third-party contractor affiliated with the social media company.
But the company’s representative added that Facebook strives to create a fair and equitable work environment for all of its employees, including contractors.
“The minimum salary at Facebook is $15 (roughly Rs. 960) an hour (which includes third party contractors), and the company has instituted better conditions for contractors, including 15 days’ off, paid vacation and a new child care benefit of $4,000 (roughly Rs. 2,56,000),” the report noted.
But Parsha said she has been working with Facebook for just two months and has already begun looking for a second job in order to help pay the bills.
She also runs a non-profit organisation called “Love n Me” that aims at empowering women and girls to pursue a successful life.
Parsha had undergone abuse and depression in past but she bounced back and pursued higher education and completed her Master’s degree in Counselling.