Training: Monks in Dechenphodrang monastery and Trashichhodzong in Thimphu will now have their own saloon or barbers in the monasteries.

The labour ministry established two saloons at a cost of Nu 250,000. The saloons are equipped with haircutting tools, electric geysers, and sterilising machines, among others.

Labour ministry’s human resources department, under the special skill development programme provided training in haircutting to 15 monks including five monks from Tashichhodzong for a week.

Barber Ugyen Deepak of Trashigang town volunteered to train the monks on proper and hygienic practises.

The saloons will cater to about 200 and 500 monks in Dechenphodrang and Trashichodzong respectively.

Labour ministry’s human resources department director, Kinley Wangdi, during the inauguration ceremony of the saloon yesterday, said that as the monks themselves provide haircuts in the monastery, frequent injuries were occurring.

Kinley Wangdi said that the monks in the monastery are young and haircuts are not done in the cleanest and safest way. Having a saloon in the monastery is convenient for the monks and would save their money and time. The monks shave their heads twice a month.

Many people think that cutting hair is simple work, not realising that proper methods and hygiene have to be maintained so that contagious diseases are not spread, Kinley Wangdi added.

Ugyen Deepak said that the monks don’t use proper shaving equipment and face many problems such as injuring themselves.

He said that the monks take longer to complete a haircut and use the same blade for many people. “Monks put a blade in between a bamboo and shave their head.”

Ugyen Deepak pointed out that most of the monks are not aware that sharing of blades could lead to the spread of contagious diseases like HIV and fungal diseases.

The training programme included proper haircut practices and risks involved with unsafe practices.

Dechenphodrang’s principal Rinchen Choezang, said that the parents enroll their children in monastic schools and it is the responsibilities of the monk teachers to bathe, shave their heads, and take care of the monks, especially the little ones.

“We used a clipper and shaved students’ heads, but a proper method and hygienic practises is not followed,” Rinchen Choezang said. “Cleanliness can be maintained.”

Meanwhile, Ugyen Deepak is also planning to train school dropouts.

Certificates were awarded to the trainer and the 15 monk trainees yesterday.

Dechen Tshomo