BHOPAL: The governmentís decision not to unlock beauty parlours and salons for now has left its owners and beauticians disappointed. Around 5000 beauticians and tonsorial artists in the city have voiced concern over the decision. Many of them are breadwinners for their families and have been forced to loan money for running their households. They also have to pay the rent and power and water supply charges for their establishments.
Firoz Ahmed has been running a hairdressing salon in Gulmohar for the past 16 years. His family is dependent on the income from the salon. ìThe monthly rent for the salon premises is Rs 20,000 and for my home is Rs 12,000.† I owe around Rs 90,000 to my landlords,î he says. He has been getting calls from his clients for the past two days. ìIf the government can open parks then why not salons," he says.
Leena Bamer, who has been running Aquaveda Parlour at Indrapuri for the past 18 years doesn't know how she will pay the Rs 20,000 per month rent. "It is being said that beauty parlours cannot be allowed to reopen as the beauticians and their clients come in close contact. But isn't this also true of the doctors and their patients?" she asks. Barmer says that after the lockdown last year, the government had extended financial aid to many sectors but not for the beauty and grooming industry. "Even if we are not given any aid, we should be allowed to earn our living," she says.
Jyoti Rajdev's parlour in the Ayodhya Bypass area has been shut since March last year. She couldn't open it after the last lockdown as her husband was down with a serious kidney ailment. Eventually, he passed away. "I live with my two daughters in a joint family. Food is not a problem but I have to pay Rs 5,000 per month as rent," she says.
Surekha Sirkey, who has been running Diksha Beauty Parlour at Vallabh Nagar in Awadhpuri since 2011, is the breadwinner for her family including her unemployed husband, their two daughters and parents-in-law. She has loaned money from friends and relatives. Her daughter is pursuing B. Tech course and there is no way she can pay her fee.
Pooja Lalwani's parlour is in Gulmohar. Her father is no more. She was managing her household comprising her mother and a nine-year-old daughter with her earnings. "Income has ceased but expenses remain as they were." she says. The government could have allowed the beauty parlours to open on the condition that they would adhere to Corona-protection norms, she says.
Vandana Paratey, the owner of the 18-year-old Paris Beauty Parlour in Kotra Sultanabad is quite unhappy with the governmentís decision. She pays Rs 9,000 as monthly rent. Her husband is in a job and their combined incomes were enough to meet the expenses of their family including their three kids. "The marriage season is about to end. We will lose a substantial part of our business if we are not allowed to reopen," she says.
Vijaya Sharma, the owner of Manasi Beauty Parlour on Regiment Road in Shahjehanabad, is the sole earner in her family. Her husband has retired from a non-pensionable job. "If the parlours are not allowed to reopen, how will we pay the maintenance charges," she asks
Sneha Upadhyay who runs Sneha Skin Care Salon in Ashoka Garden says that when weddings have been allowed with 20 guests, why beauty parlours should be kept shut. "We can call only one or two clients at a time," she says.
Beauty and wellness industry is one of the worst hit
The beauty and wellness industry is one of the worst hit by the pandemic. We have around 250 members. Around 5,000 persons are engaged in the beauty parlour and salon business in the city. Almost all of them are in serious trouble. The Beauty Federation of India is planning to demand a relief package for the industry, including waiver of electricity charges, property tax etc." -Sarita Shrivastava, president, Bhopal Beauty Parlour Association