In a bid to make SC and ST girls economically self-reliant, Backward Class Welfare department (BCW) will set up around 500 beauty parlours in the blocks and municipalities in collaboration with Shahnaz Husain, the well known beauty therapist.
This is for the first time in the country when such a venture has been taken up by a state government. The girls who will receive training will become entrepreneurs and open their own beauty parlours. The West Bengal Scheduled Caste Scheduled Tribe Development Finance Corporation will provide Rs 2 lakh as soft loans to those who will open the parlours. A sum of Rs 10 crore has been provided for the purpose.
BCW has provided training in beautician course to 28,000 SC and ST girls in Level I. It was found that nearly 75 percent of the girls who had received training have become self-reliant and are working either in some beauty parlours or doing freelance business.
Taking cue from their success, the department selected 500 girls to provide them with higher training. The training is being given by the experts from Shahnaz Husain establishments.
The duration of the residential training course is three months. Those who have received training will get a certificate. The BCW will then give them financial assistance to set up their own parlours. A survey conducted by the department revealed that beauty parlours run by trained beauticians have tremendous potential in the districts up to the block levels. As it will be a joint venture with Shanaz Husain, the quality will be maintained. The beauty therapists have been given training on bridal make-ups which is in great demand in the district.
Those who have already received training and are working either in parlours or doing freelance business may join the new parlours.
In a study, the department found that those who have received training are earning between Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 per month.
"This amount will go up when there will be a proper beauty parlour with all modern facilities, whose quality will be maintained," a senior official said.