India’s human hair exports’ market was around Rs 4,500 crore before two years. However, it declined to $1000 crore mainly due to strong competition from China, which is offering exports at cheaper prices
Shamsun Naher, Rajshahi Bureau: Hair which falls during combing or during shearing or reshaping has turned a valuable export item for owners of ‘Hair Processing Factories’under Manda upazila of Naogaon in recent years.
In 12 hair processing factories of the upazila, more than 800 poor and helpless women have got their ways of earning their livelihood.
Most of the workers of the factories are widowed, deserted by husbands, housewives and even students who were
once dependent on their husbands or parents. Now, they are trying to become self-reliant by working at these hair factories. Having a huge demand of the hair made-items world wide, many of the workers are now opting for establishing more hair factories of their own.
According to sources, 52 ‘poorest of the poor’ women are working at the hair factory of Uzzal at Bonihari village of the upazila. Beauty, who is the leader of the team informed, she is still a worker at the factory but in addition to her duty she also supervises the working women at the factory.
Ayesha, a worker at the factory informed, her husband ousted her from his house due to her ‘offence’ of giving birth three girl children one after another. As a result, she took shelter at her parents’ house with her three daughters some 20-year ago. For the last four years, she has been working as a labourer at a hair factory of the upazila at a salary of taka 1,500 per month. Already, she managed to marry two of her daughters with the help of locals. She informed, she is now far better than she had been at her husband’s house.
Sayera Bibi, another labourer of the factory informed, she became totally helpless when her husband became paralysed, only bread earner of the family. However, she got the job at a hair factory and became self reliant.
Hair factory labourers including Moyjan, Parul, Jarina and Poly informed, they have no landed properties and they used to work as house-maids in others’ houses. After being provided at the hair factories, they have got a new meaning of life.
Seema and Sakila, students of class XII and class IX respectively of local educational institutes informed, they used to work at hair factories on holidays. The further informed, they used to manage their educational expenses by working at the factories. They said, they were happy not seeking money for purchasing itineraries from their parents.
Mujibur Rahman Montu, Manager of a hair factory informed, the factory depends on fallen and sheared hair of women. He further informed, the hair is purchased from Chowbaria hat and it is then processed. 160 ultra poor and helpless women have been employed at his three factories each of whom are earning at least taka 1,500 per month, montu further said.
Amanur Bishwas, another hair factory owner of the upazila informed, he purchased fallen hair from various places of the district. The hair is then semi-processed through machine, put into packets and then sent to Dhaka for final processing. From Dhaka, these hair packets are exported to China and other countries, he said adding that the female workers at the factory are not efficient enough that is why a lot of hair is torn and destroyed during processing and the owners are incurring loss. He hoped, the wages of the workers will also be increased when they will become efficient in their work.