Free beauty care training to empower poor widows

April 1st, 2008 - 5:28 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) Giving them free education in beauty and hair care and helping them set up their own business, the Loomba Trust Entrepreneurship programme launched Tuesday as a pilot project will strive to empower 10 poor widows in Delhi. An initiative of Britain-based entrepreneur Raj Loomba, whose Loomba Trust works for the upliftment of widows across the world, this project ultimately aims to empower 100 widows across the country in the first phase of the programme.

The project is being carried out in association with well-known beautician Blossom Kochhar.

“Our aim is to empower these women who are discriminated against in society for absolutely no fault of theirs. To begin with, the Blossom Kochhar Institute will provide free education to 10 women from Delhi. The Loomba Trust will then assist them financially in setting up their own salons,” Loomba said at the launch of the programme.

The course, which will be of six to eight weeks duration, will teach the women basic skills in beauty and hair care. They will then be involved in a three-month apprenticeship with a salon before setting up their own business.

“Education without a hands-on training is futile. Therefore we will ensure that after the six to eight weeks programme, these women get an apprenticeship with a good salon. And even after they set up their own salon, we will guide them for a year or more so that they are confident in their job,” Kochhar told IANS.

The Loomba Trust will be assisting the women with an amount of Rs.100,000 each to set up their salon.

Jasbir Kaur of Patparganj in east Delhi, who is one of the beneficiaries of the programme, said this initiative would ensure a regular income to her family.

“My husband was working in partnership with someone before he suddenly passed away in 2004. After that, my husband’s business partner took away everything from us…only I know how I managed to keep my children from dropping out of school,” Kaur said softly as she sat with a beauty kit given to her during the programme’s launch.

“Until now I have been running the household by tailoring and sewing clothes. My son is in school, studying with the help of the scholarship given by the Loomba Trust. With this programme, I hope to have a regular income and give my children all the comforts that I want to,” she said.

“Another good thing about this programme is that we will be compensated during the training, so that our children don’t go hungry during that period,” said Sheetal Yadav, another beneficiary of the programme.

The beneficiaries were selected after an interview with Kochhar that basically concentrated on the women’s economical status and the health and educational status of their children.

“These women don’t earn more than Rs.1,000-1,500 per month but after they set up their own salons or start working in someone else’s, their starting salary will be Rs.5,000,” Kochhar said.

The women in the first batch of women are expected to graduate and be ready to start their own enterprise by June 4 this year, which is marked as International Widows Day by the Trust in more than 15 countries.

In India, the Loomba Trust is supporting 3,600 children of poor widows.

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