In a unique initiative, Vishakhapatnam-based hairdresser G Charan Kumar spares one day of the week (which usually falls on Tuesday) to offer his professional services free of charge for disabled children, orphans, and other minors from schools and homes for the destitute.
Considering the arc of his own life, it’s no surprise that he has chosen to take up this initiative. Charan Kumar’s journey in the hair salon business began when he was seven-years-old. Due to his family’s financial troubles, he dropped out of school and joined his uncle’s hair salon business.
After a few years with his uncle, he began working at other salons, and subsequently gathered enough money to complete a professional course in Hyderabad, and set up his own studio in Vizag.
It was a visit to a school for the visually-impaired that sparked the vision for his initiative.
“I visited this school for the visually challenged children and came across this little boy Hari Krishna with a bleeding ear. The wound had occurred when he was given a haircut. I was deeply moved by the sight and told the boy I would return to give him a haircut,” he said to The Hindu.
Following that incident, the school invited Charan to give young children a haircut. Their unbridled happiness at receiving a makeover left a deep impression on him. This session kick-started his initiative at offering free haircuts for the disabled and children from orphanages.
Following this life-changing experience, Charan started a group with 15 fellow hairdressers in the city called New Trendz, which offers free haircuts for these children in the city. The group has spread its wings in Hyderabad and Mumbai, where similar hairdresser-led initiatives have come to life.
“I have seen even a severely disabled child respond joyfully with her eyes and touch after a haircut. We make videos capturing such priceless moments and upload them to social media for the public to see and be more sensitive towards these kids,” Charan told The Hindu. On one occasion, Charan and his team gave 150 children haircuts within a span of four hours at a school for the visually-impaired.
He is on the cusp of hosting a fashion show with orphans and disabled children from Icha Foundation, Prajwal Vani, Netra Vidyalaya and Papa Home at VUDA Children’s Arena tomorrow. During this event, nearly 60 children will receive a complete makeover at the hands of Charan, his team, and famous makeup artist from Mumbai Samaira Wallani reported The Hindu.
“This is a happiness that money cannot buy!” says Charan.