Kozhikode

Kozhikode barber stages protest, demands reopening of shops

Even as other shops have been allowed to open, barbershops and beauty parlours continue to remain closed. Hansar T., a barber from Naduvannur, finds the situation unjust. For the past two days, the 37-year-old man has been sitting under a tree in front of his barbershop at Puthiyappuram, with a noose hanging from the tree, as a form of protest against the “grave injustice towards the community”.

“It has been a year-and-a-half since our shops closed down. Most of us are in dire straits. How long are we to sit at home when COVID-19 does not seem to be subsiding any time soon?” says Mr. Hansar, while demanding that the State government consider the situation more seriously.

“It is not just about food. We need to pay bills. There has been no cut in the electricity bill or the building rent for the period the shops were closed. Besides, we have loans to repay,” he says.

Mr. Hansar says he uses mostly disposable equipment in his barber shop, including blades, combs, masks, seat covers, and aprons. The other equipment in the shop is sterilised and sanitised many times a day. “We allow only one person in the shop at a time. On the other hand, most shops here have a crowd inside on the days they open,” he says.

Mr. Hansar’s protest has also been an announcement of the Collectorate march and other protest measures planned by the Kerala State Barber’s Association on Tuesday. “We are ready to sit at home if the government heeds our basic demands,” he says. The primary demand is a waiver of electricity bills and building rents when shops are closed. Another is a special package to ensure the survival of the families of barbers. “We just need the consideration given to other enterprises. We are demanding only sustenance,” he adds.


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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 9:42:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/kozhikode-barber-stages-protest-demands-reopening-of-shops/article35529865.ece

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