Cliched as it might seem, the beauty parlours in this country have another not-so-beautiful or dirty side. Largely an unregulated sector, not unlike many other businesses in this country, it employs hundreds and thousands of girls and many men too who bear the brunt of this dirty side in a rather crass way.
While people in general may think of beauty salons as a viable employment opportunity for these girls and boys, especially giving the girls a sense of empowerment, their exploitation at the hands of their employers, which is not all too difficult to see at these parlours, tells a whole different story.
In our Special Report today, we try to get a sense of the scale of this exploitation. For a variety of reasons, our focus has largely been on girls who are not just short-changed in terms of salary but on many other counts. They are vulnerable to all sorts of health hazards, being exposed to chemicals, their working hours are longer than they should be, they have no stipulated holidays and, in many cases, they can’t leave at will. The owners meanwhile are happy at providing this great service.
The situation with men working at salons is not much different. Some girls, however, have found solace in being self-employed — either by opening parlours at home or by providing beauty services to women at home. They are helped by technology which does not just mean a cell phone but advertising their business through social media.
The Special Report attempts a sneak peek at some harrowing tales waiting to be seen and heard behind the glamour and glitz of the ‘beauty’ parlours.
Read also: Parlours’ dirty secrets