Inside her wonderfully decorated beauty parlor where beauty cosmetics and chairs for customers are well placed in orderly manner, she is standing with a broad smile which reflects the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Talking about her profession as a beautician, she says, “There is good profit in this occupation as most people don’t hesitate to spend in enhancing their beauty these days. If one has skills of a beautician, there is no problem in earning money”. Dilkumari lives in Halgadha with her teen aged son and husband. Unless she started her own beauty parlor, her husband managed household expenses by working as a laborer. At that time, it was quite difficult for them to manage households’ expenses as her husband did not get to work regularly. Remembering hardship of those days, she narrates, “In such a situation, I was desperate to earn, but I did not have any qualification or skills. Thus, my despair was accelerating. As we had a small child also, expenses were increasing everyday”. During her search of working opportunity, she came to know of upcoming skills training which were to be conducted by Multi Skills and Environment Development Private Limited under SAMRIDDHI, an IFAD funded project of Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS) in which Helvetas Nepal has been providing technical assistance. To get details of the trainings, she traveled to Itahari and applied for the 65 days long training of Assistant Beautician. Her enthusiasm to participate in the training ignited when she knew that the training would be free of cost and employment after the training had been made mandatory. She applied for the training, got selected, attended the training by managing time from her household chores and completed the training successfully. From the very beginning of her participation in the training, she was nurturing a dream to have her own beauty parlor. After the training she approached many acquaintances to provide loan for materializing her dream. Nevertheless, no one agreed to support. Then she sold her ornaments at NRs. 30,000 and hired a small shutter at Halgadha on the condition of paying NRs. 10,000 every month. With that amount she also bought basic equipment for starting a beauty parlor. Though in the beginning very few numbers of clients visited her parlor, gradually the number of clients started increasing. With a sense of accomplishment in her tone, she shares, “If the clients are dealt with politeness; served by giving a bit extra time and charged normal rate, the client themselves advertise of the service.”
Within a short span of 6-7 months after the opening of the parlor, vivid change in her economic condition became apparent. In her parlor, she has also started selling cosmetic items along with providing beauty services. She says that there is good profit from the sale of cosmetics. While being asked of her recent income, she cheerfully says, “The monthly income ranges from NRs. 25.000 to 30,000. I have been able to devote my time to this occupation as my husband undertakes most of the household chores and looks after the child”. Revealing the secret of her success, she further says, “If one partakes in the training with interest and with the determination to start work following the training, one can easily be successful”. She has plan to expand her enterprise by honing her skills further. We shortened our conversation with her keeping in mind the que of her clients. Among her clients some were waiting their turn for threading, some others were waiting for hair oil massage whereas remaining were waiting for hair cutting. Dilkumari was also in hurray to support her co-worker Kusum Rai in providing service to her clients.