Many barbers in Maharashtra have taken their lives due to financial stress and lockdown, small time beauticians suffered acute stress. Beauty industry is doomed in the last three months. Finally, the government has decided to reopen hair salons in Maharashtra from 28 June. Not only Salons but gyms, spas and wellness centers are allowed to function very soon, announced State Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar.
The salon operators had demanded that they be allowed to do their business or else the government provide them a financial package. As many as 12 barbers have committed suicide in the last three months due to financial losses grieved due to three months of lay down shutters due to the coronavirus- lockdown, a state minister said that during the state cabinet meeting held on Thursday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray agreed to allow the salons to reopen with adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs) about hygiene and cleanliness.
Praful Dhaktode, an Hair Stylist told Afternoon Voice, “Three months was really a long stretch without business, no help, no aid, no business and additional liabilities, don’t know how to put all this in words but lockdown came up with survival challenges by all means”. No business, no work, no single rupee earning and above all now a restart after a long break needs resources, which is not easily manageable”.
Salman a Hair Stylist at Orange Salon told AV, “From three months there is no single rupee revenue earned, all have gone hand to mouth, my friends somehow allowed to stay and meal so I am alive, but pockets are empty and depending on me are almost starving in my hometown. Due to lockdown the shop was closed for three months now and if I wished to give home services, that was not allowed by respective societies”. This lockdown period was really suicidal”.
Sameer Acharekar, who is in the Hair Extension and Hair Styling business told AV, “This lockdown was really hopeless and beyond repair. Bunnies have completely shrunk and above all paying for the material that has been purchased on loan was a bigger challenge”. I had to come back to my village to sustain with life, Clients were calling me for hair extensions but their societies never allowed us to enter as per the guidelines”.
Government will allow hair salons and hair businesses to reopen but with conditions like the use of sanitizers and face-masks mandatory for the hairdresser and the customer. Similarly, the cloth or towel used for one customer shall not be used for others. The salon operators had demanded that they be allowed to do their business or else the government provide them a financial package, the minister said that he raised the issue in the cabinet meeting and the chief minister agreed that the salons could reopen from June 28 with conditions about the SOPs.
Mumbai city Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh too told some media houses that the gyms and salons in the state would be reopened soon. As the talks were held with the owners of salons and gyms last week. The SOPs and guidelines would be framed in the next couple of days. The gyms and salons will be opened soon,” he added.