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Charu Khurana in no mood to make up

Charu Khurana's case, that defends women’s rights to be hired as makeup artistes, has now reached the Supreme Court for its final hearing 

For more than a decade now, Charu Khurana has been fighting against the Cine Costume Make Up Artistes and Hair Dressers Association in a bid to get them to allow women to work as makeup artistes. Khurana, who has worked with some of the biggest names in the film industry, has now taken the matter to the apex court, and it’s final hearing is scheduled to take place next Tuesday.

Charu Khurana (left) with Abhishek Bachchan on the sets of 'Raavan'
Charu Khurana (left) with Abhishek Bachchan on the sets of 'Raavan'

Speaking to hitlist, she says, “I am fighting for women’s empowerment. Women should be given the right to choose their profession. We can not have rules saying that only men can be makeup artistes and women will only be hairdressers.”

Khurana has mainly worked in South films but has not been able to get any work of late in the film industry as she does not hold a membership card. She says that her application has been turned down due to the industry’s unfair rules. “They keep telling me to take membership as a hairdresser, but I refuse to do that as I wish to be a makeup artiste,” she says.

Back in 2009, Khurana filed a complaint with the National Commission for Women (NCW) against this discrimination. NCW presented her case to the Supreme Court last year. Charu has not been able to get work now and she says that she has lost out on several projects, including South films such as Mirchi, Manmadan Ambu, Ko, Raavan, Damarukam, Unnaipol Oruvan, Irandaam Ulagam, Alex Pandian, and Bahubali.

“I didn’t get work in these films because of the union’s interference; they have been denying me work citing my non-membership as the reason,” she says, adding that the union continues to oppose a woman taking on make-up assignments on a film set. “They switch off the lights and force us out,” she says.

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