No more arms, now it’s scissors for cutting hair

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Phulmati dealing with customers in her cosmatic and beauty palour

Phulmati’s beauty parlour business is flourishing in Bardiya, mid-west Nepal. Her earning per day ranges from Rs. 500 to Rs.4,000.

A former Maoist combatant, Phulmati, 25, was discharged from the Surkhet cantonment in early 2010.

She chose the micro-enterprise option under the training programme provided by the UN Interagency Rehabilitation Programme (UNIRP).

With the start up support that she received from UNIRP at the end of the 3-6 months long training, and the monetary support received from her family, she opened up a beauty parlour.

"The start-up support in kind equivalent to Rs. 30,000 received from UNIRP was very helpful to start the business. However, that was not sufficient. My family also helped me with a loan of Rs. 60,000 during the initial phase of the business,” she shared.


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Her family’s financial support shows that she readily got social acceptance from the society which has been a challenge for many other combatants.

She recalls how she spent her childhood in a dusty squatter settlement. When she reached her teens, she joined the Maoist army. ‘Bindu’, the alias that she got in the army became her identity.

Now she has been able to give a new identity to herself with the new found business.


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