Beautician Training Workshop, Chandan, Bihar

PAIRVI has been working with women beedi workers of Chandan Block of Banka district district in Bihar for the last six years.  It works to improve their living conditions and social wellbeing. The main agenda of our engagement with beedi workers is to improve the basic rights and social security schemes, develop the alternative livelihood options and entrepreneurship skills, build the leadership quality among the women beedi workers and to establish the cooperative/associations of women beedi workers. These women mostly belong to minority communities and other deprived groups. According to a survey conducted by PAIRVI, rolling Beedi is an industry that employs mostly women. Prolonged exposure to tobacco causes health consequences. The work is so poorly paid that some never break the cycle of poverty that locks them into unhealthy lives. Beedi workers earn much less compared to workers in other unorganized sectors and are subject to income inequality. That is why they have been demanding for alternative and safe source of livelihood. Women beedi workers of chandan have been demanding beautician training for quite a long time.

PAIRVI had organized a meeting with women beedi workers who were demanding beautician training at Chandan Village on 26 October. Meeting discussed the three important points 1) why beautician training, 2) what should be the duration of training as it focuses on skills which need long practice and  3) what next after training. Beauty industry remains a strong career for women. The beauty and wellness sector is one of the largest employers in India with over 70 lakh professionals of which two-thirds are women from lower socioeconomic and educational backgrounds. However, this industry is nearly entirely unorganised. There is a wide range of employment options available in this sector. This is because most people avail local services in their neighbourhood, or call a parlour didi who is familiar to them. It was this sort of parlour didi loyalty that led to women beedi workers to opt for the beautician work. Apart from freelance opportunities, women have the option to work in beauty parlour or start their own small parlour. Since it is skill-based training, it needs a longer duration to develop the good quality skills. After the serious discussion with women beedi workers it was decided to organize a month long workshop on developing the beautician skill during the month of November- December.

The training started on 23 November and concluded on 28 December 2023. During this tenure, Kumari Anita Sinha imparted training for 30 days. A total of 15 women participants of Chandan, Banka underwent beautician training and developed the fundamental skill required for beautician.

Name of Trainer– Kumari Aita Sinha

Name of Participants– Sama Bibi, Ladhli Khatun, Mehak Praveen, Sana Khatun, Khushi Khatun, Afsana Khatun, Sanjum Khatun, Salma Khatun, Khushabu Devi, Muskan Khatun, Mamata  kumara, Priya Kesari, Sakina Khatun, Purabi Kumari and Sanjana Kumari

The participants and locals appreciated the training. It created hope for women beedi workers. After this training, 3 women (Ladhli Khatun, Mehak Praveen and Khushbu Devi ) out of 15 have started freelance work as a parlour didi in their neighbourhood area and one woman (Priya Kesari) is working in her own parlour. Even though earning is not much in the starting phase, it has developed a sense of financial independence, pride and hope of a better future.