Tusli village near Chhattisgarh capitalRaipur has turned into a YouTubers’ hub, with a large number of locals creating content for the online video sharing and social media platforms and making a career out of it.The locals have about 40 YouTube channels. Besides entertainment, these YouTubers also create content on education.

The YouTube culture was started by two friends –GyanendraShukla and Jai Verma– in the village, but soon became a rage. Following them, the whole of Tusli village got into this profession. While Shukla left his SBI job, Verma left his job as a teacher 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,” said Shukla.

However, it wasn’t a cakewalk for them at the beginning due to shyness and hesitations surrounding the professions.”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 per cent of people are connected to YouTube,” he added.

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.”

YouTube is also a means of empowering girls in the Naxal-hit state.Speaking to ANI, PinkiSahu, a YouTuber said, “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.”