Basic beauty and hairdressing skills can provide a good income to a girl with little education or other prospects. This project, based in our own purpose-built training salon, will empower 60 destitute women and girls from the slums of Central Kolkata. With economic power comes the ability for these vulnerable women to make their own life decisions, to avoid early marriage, poverty, child bearing and drudgery.
Girls from India's poorest communities are seriously disadvantaged. There are officially 63 million women and girls missing in India. Girls are less likely than boys to survive birth and childhood, less likely to receive proper medical care and more likely to be married off in childhood. According to official statistics there are 450,000 girls aged 15 and under who are married with children. They suffer a life of childbearing, drudgery, poverty, domestic abuse, abandonment and extreme poverty.
This project provides 6 months intensive training in basic beauty and hairdressing skills and business skills training to 60 vulnerable girls and women from the slums and squatter camps of Central Kolkata. On graduating from the course with a recognised qualification the girls are able either to find employment in a salon or to build a private client base. This training empowers the girls to make decisions for themselves, to support their families and to choose their own life story
The impact on the life of each girl graduating from the course will be significant. With a reliable income she will have more autonomy and will be able to make choices for herself. Her family will benefit from her income and she is much more likely to prioritise the education of her own children when the time comes. Women in these vulnerable communities who have earning power report much less domestic abuse.