In 2019,’s Hard Times series sought to explain and illustrate how India’s slowest economic growth in a decade was affecting ordinary people. This followed reporting by in 2016 and 2017 on the effects that demonetisation had on the lives of Indians around the country.

As the world continues to grapple with the Covid-19 crisis, Hard Times now takes a look at the impact of India’s draconian lockdown on individuals and firms from all corners of the economy. Read all of the pieces in the Lockdown Hard Times series here.

Temperature checks. Sanitisation. Full personal protective equipment including gloves, a mask, a face or eye shield, shoe cover and a suit. That’s what is now expected from staff at upscale salons or those belonging to a chain, around India, in the aftermath of the Covid-19 crisis.

They also need to ensure that the customers don’t endanger them.

“Sometimes people insist on removing the mask inside the salon, so we need to convince them about the risks involved,” said Rachna Taneja, franchisee owner of beauty salon chain Naturals in Gurugram, Haryana. “I have refused service in case a customer is adamant... We don’t want to add to people’s worries, but we need to protect both staff and customers.”

Haryana’s guidelines mandate that customers without masks will not be allowed...Read more


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