Eight-year-old Veer T grows his hair out each few months. Once it grows as much as 12 inches, he will get it reduce and sends it to the Cherian Foundation. This is a apply he picked up from father, and now that is one thing they do collectively. “There are many others like them, who religiously donate their hair to us,” says Sara B Cherian, trustee, The Cherian Foundation. All the amassed hair is then washed, handled, woven into wigs and given freed from price to most cancers sufferers from underprivileged households. This is a part of their profitable Gift Hair Gift Confidence marketing campaign that runs into its tenth 12 months, this 12 months.
Over the years, the marketing campaign has managed to offer round 1,500 wigs. The beneficiaries are throughout all age teams: from 16 to 70 years. The hair donors additionally belong to related age classes. When the marketing campaign began, it was primarily girls who had been sending locks of their hair. A number of years down the road, males and kids began contributing too.
Forty kilograms of hair
Donors are from throughout India, primarily Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka. From two kilos of human hair within the first 12 months, the marketing campaign at the moment manages to gather 40 kilos of hair in a 12 months. There are pointers for donors. The donated hair size needs to be above 10 inches. And it needs to be despatched within the type of a ponytail, says Sara. It takes 5 to 6 ponytails of comparable size, texture and color to make a wig.
Started in 2004, by Benjamin Cherian, the Foundation has, in its 20 years, championed quite a few causes like schooling, healthcare, neighborhood service and catastrophe aid. “Gift Hair Gift Confidence started as a collection drive when Adyar Cancer Institute was looking at starting a wig programme in 2013. Our family owns Raj Hair International (a company that deals with human hair and related products), and we have been pioneers in the human hair industry for 40 years. We knew we would be able to provide wigs for free,” says Sara. The wigs are made by B & H Exports, a unit in Alinjivakkam, which can be a part of Raj Holdings. For the primary 4 years the Foundation focussed fully on offering wigs for sufferers from Adyar Cancer Institute. Now, there are sufferers from different hospitals as nicely who profit from these wigs.
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“With this, we started paying attention to the needs of Indian patients, like what length and texture they require. They mostly want long hair that they can tie into a ponytail or bun, and a natural parting,” provides Sara.
The Adyar Cancer Institute performed a research in 2015-2016 that discovered that ladies carrying wigs responded higher to therapy than girls not carrying wigs, says Sara. “Women were able to go about their daily life, attend functions, buy groceries; they did not have to confine themselves to the house. This gave them confidence and as a result also gave confidence to their care givers.”
In this area of labor for 10 years, Sara has observed that always girls most cancers sufferers from marginalised sections are likely to get ostracised. As chemotherapy progresses, there may be hair loss they usually start to look totally different with out their hair. “Some may wonder, what is the big deal? People tonsure their hair in Tirupati and go about their lives. But it’s not the same. When you shave your head, you have hair follicles that are visible. But with chemo, the person is completely bald and there are no follicles, no eyebrows or eyelashes. There is a lot of stigma attached to the way they look. As a result, they go through an emotional impact and sometimes this can stop them from getting treatment,” she explains.
A number of sufferers should not conscious that wigs can be found freed from price. Many of them discover out about it from the psycho-oncology division within the hospital that advises them. “A 48-year-old woman learnt about wigs a few months into her treatment. She says had she known earlier she wouldn’t have had to expose her bald head to her relatives, who treat her differently because she has cancer and the way she looks. Now, thanks to the wig when she steps out to buy vegetables, no one looks at her and that is comforting,” says Sara.
Today, the wigs being donated by Cherian Foundation are available in quite a lot of sizes, colors and textures. The improve in variety of donors makes this potential. The colors embrace pure black, pure brown, medium gray and darkish gray. “In addition, we also refurbish wigs that some of the users return after they no longer need them. We clean, repair and make them available for others,” says Sara.
It takes eight days to make one wig. It is an extended course of that features segregating all of the hair acquired, washing the collected hair, drying, operating them via a machine, weaving them into wefts, attaching them to a wig base. After that part of the wig is hand-knotted to offer a scalp-like look. This course of alone takes two to a few days.
For particulars, go online to cherianfoundation.org