Barbers in Rajasthan’s remote villages get a professional boost with modern hairdressing kits
Poverty alleviation in the rural areas needs visionary steps which can bring the workers and artisans out of the loop of deprivation by helping them keep pace with modernisation of their traditional crafts. It can revive livelihood potential for them and enhance their income manifold by making use of their traditional skills and aptitude.
One such step has been taken in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan where the barbers living in remote areas are facing loss of livelihood with increasing mechanisation and modernisation of their occupation. While the financially well-off barbers migrate to cities and set up shops, their economically weaker brethren often find it difficult to make ends meet and are forced to look for other work, mostly that requires manual labour.
In this situation, Lupin Human Welfare & Research Foundation has come forward to assist the barbers. During its recent survey undertaken for identification of BPL families in the district, the body noticed that barbers living in remote villages are finding their survival difficult despite having traditional skills. Lack of modern accessories for hairdressing and shaving is making them lose out on livelihood.
Lupin Foundation executive director Sita Ram Gupta points out that the survey found as many as 3,576 barbers belonging to the BPL category, for whom it prepared a plan for making available hairdressing kits with modern accessories.
The kit especially included items for hairdressing liked by youngsters. Each kit costs Rs. 853 and has all accessories for hair cutting, dressing and dyeing and shaving. During the first phase, the hairdressing kits have been distributed to 1,274 barbers. They include 306 barbers in Deeg panchayat samiti, 160 in Kaman, 140 in Sevar, 90 in Nadbai, 142 in Rupbas, 122 in Weir, 102 in Nagar and 106 in Kumher.
Mr. Gupta says more kits are being prepared for the second phase of distribution, which would be completed by October-end. The barber families, who have received the kits so far, have been able to increase their income twofold by working in their own villages and in the midst of their own communities.
One of the beneficiaries, Hari Om, has opened his own hairdressing shop in his village Pasta, situated in Sevar panchayat samiti, and started earning Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 6,000 per month. He was earlier engaged in hair-cutting by moving around in the village and also worked as a semi-skilled construction labourer.
His shop now attracts a good number of customers everyday and he has started sending his children to school.
Hari Om is now looking forward to shifting with his family to Bharatpur, where he wants to open a new shop if he gets the steady income.