Associations representing beauty parlours and salons in the state, on Wednesday, held a demonstration in Mahim demanding that they be allowed to reopen. They have been suffering without any business, they say, since they have been shut for almost three months now.
While markets are allowed to reopen, why are they not permitted to resume work, they ask. Associations, such as the Salon and Beauty Parlour Association, Maharashtra, and Maharashtra Nabhik Mahamandal, which organised the protest, said that they will be following high standards of safety and using disposable equipment like gloves and face masks for both their staff and clients and will disinfect the premises regularly if they are allowed to reopen.
“We have to pay high rent for the premises and staff salaries. How can we manage when there is no income for so long,” asked Dattatrey Anarase, state chairperson of Maharashtra Nabhik Mahamandal. In Pune, he said one salon staff who was experiencing hardships attempted to kill himself. “In Delhi and UP, for instance, salons have been allowed to reopen and some states have given a relief package to workers in such establishments,” he said, pointing that there was no such relief package given to the beauty sector workers in Maharashtra.
Vice president of Salon and Beauty Parlour Association, Maharashtra, Tushar Chavan said they demand also that the electricity bill of their shops be waived off and the government make a rule such that their landlords agree for a negotiated rent for the lockdown period.
Sampada Morajkar, a beautician, said she has not received pay for the months of April and May. For March, she was paid only till March 18, after which parlours had closed operations. She got Rs 5,000 as subsistence pay from her employer in May.
Another parlour worker, who does not wish to be named, said that her family of three is fully dependent on her for income. She received only half pay for April and May. She is managing her home with help from relatives and friends.