by Rahim Khetran and Savaila Hunzai
Sharan is a 20-year girl lives in village Kuntedar in Tehsil Dasht, District Kech, Balochistan. She belongs to the generation of those ‘unfortunates’ who have never been to school. Having no formal education and skill, she was dependent upon her ageing parents. She recalls the time when just like other girls of the village, she was desperate in the desolate poverty stricken village where her existence meant nothing as she had nothing to do.
It was an ordinary boring day. Sharan was sitting in the ‘Kappar’ (a local hut in the Dasht area made in the centre of the house and works as a sitting room) when she saw a team of ‘social mobilisers’ from NRSP visiting her village. The team after asking some questions from Sharan’s parents told them that the household has a Poverty Score Card of 16. After the ‘initial dialogue’ Sharan’s household became a member of the ‘Community Organisation’ (CO) and started meeting regularly with the other members of the community.
Sharan having an interest in beauty parlour made a ‘micro-investment plan’ (MIP) with the help of parents and the social mobilisers. The members of the Local Support Organisation (LSO) recognised her talent and selected her for the ‘Technical, Vocational and Educational Training’ (TVET); a component of the European Union funded BRACE Programme which is meant to reduce poverty in the rural areas of Balochistan.
Sharan received one-month beautification training in Turbat city. Because of her lively and sociable nature, she soon became friendly with other trainees. They all learned enthusiastically intending to change the fate of their households.
She returned home after one month with skill as well as a free beautification kit. “Initially it was hard to attract customers so I offered my services for free to my friends and family,” recalls Sharan. It took a couple of months that the girls and women of the village recognised her skills as well the importance of makeup.
Now Sharan earns up to Rs. 5000 a month. Her clientage increases during weddings and other special occasions like that of Eids and she earns up to Rs. 1000 a day. Sharan is very happy with this new phase of her life and so are her parents. She wants to expand her business to the other villages and after savings wants to open the first beauty parlour in the area.