Beauty parlor not just a business but independence

Ms. Madhu Urau providing service to a customer at her beauty parlor

Biratnagar, 28 December 2018- Ms Madhu Urau, 23, feels proud when her customers become excited in front of the mirror and show appreciation for the service they received at her beauty parlor located at Ranjani Bazar. Every day many women from the community come to the parlor.

Due to the poor economic condition of the family Madhu, the eldest child of her parents was unable continue her studies after high school education. At a very young age she had to take the responsibility to support the family comprising 8 members including her father, mother, brother and sisters.

She worked as a daily wage laborer in Biratnagar. While working there she heard about a beauty parlor training being organized by a training center with minimum charge for those belonging to poor communities with weak economic background. She was very interested and took permission of her family and accomplished the short term course. However, being trained was not enough. Even after the completion of the beauty parlor training she continued involving herself in labor work.

While the family was worried about Madhu’s future, her mother, Mrs Magani Urau, a member in a women group formed by the Lutheran Community Welfare Society (LCWS) an implementing partner of the Lutheran World Federation under Nepal Development Program heard a news which came as a relief. At a group meeting Magani heard about an entrepreneurship development and start-up support for the youth members from Santhal and Mushar communities by a social mobilizer from LCWS. Later she approached with the group recommendation for the support to establish a beauty parlor business for her daughter as she was already trained.

Madhu received NPR 15,000 to start her own beauty parlor with business counseling support as per the program standard at Ranjani Bazar, a three kilometers distance from her house. It has already been over a year since she started her business, currently she is earning NPR 20,000 in an average per month and she has been contributing to the family as well.

Her skills as a beautician has also sharpened and her confidence is on rise. The number of customers is also increasing day by day. She added with a smile, “During wedding season booking is done is advance, I become so busy that I hardly get time to eat”. Sometimes, she provides home service when ceremonies are held within the communities.

Madhu says, “I don’t regret leaving my studies because of the skill I acquired and my passion in managing the beauty parlor business. If it was not for LCWS and LWF I wouldn’t have been this happy and successful. I am grateful for the support they provided in helping me do what I like the most”.

Dr Prabin Manandhar, Country Director of LWF Nepal, says, “We put high priority to the most marginalized and vulnerable people while implementing programs and responding to emergencies and Santhal and Mushar are among them.”

Text and Photo by: LWF Nepal