Donating strands of hope

Artistes of the Vanitha Kathakali Sangham and their friends at the hair donation camp held at Thripunithura on Sunday.

Artistes of the Vanitha Kathakali Sangham and their friends at the hair donation camp held at Thripunithura on Sunday.

When 10-year-old Purnima donated 10 inches of her tresses on Sunday, she seemed a little perturbed at first. But she was all smiles as she handed over her contribution, becoming the youngest to donate hair at a camp organised by the Vanitha Kathakali Sangham, Thripunithura, in a gesture to support cancer patients.

The camp was held in association with a Thrissur-based hair bank that collects hair to make wigs to be made available for cancer patients free of cost through the Miracle Charitable Association.

While 69-year-old Gomathi Balasubramaniam, who donated about nine inches of hair, was the oldest woman to attend the camp, 76-year old Radhika Menon was the oldest to donate hair as she sent her tresses cut and packed to the camp. Twenty-four-year-old Archana Venugopal, affected by cerebral palsy, was another contributor.

Forty-six people donated hair at the camp and it included women from the Vanitha Sangham and friends and families of the artistes.

“Our thoughts got translated into action,” said Parvathy Menon, senior Kathakali artiste, on how the Vanitha Sangham got around to conducting the camp.

The house of Pramila Vijayan, the president of the Vanitha Sangham, became the venue for the hair donation camp. The terrace was full of women who responded to the Vanitha Sangham’s appeal. The word was spread through messages on WhatsApp and Facebook.

Abi P.M. of Miracle Hair Bank told The Hindu that they get very little hair through donations. He said he collects hair from beauty parlours and gets the wigs made at a unit in Chennai.

Poor patients undergoing cancer treatment refuse to step out of their homes once they lose hair during treatment. Wigs help them overcome the psychological barrier.

To conduct a camp at least 30 people are required and a length of at least seven inches is required for hair donation. Those interested in donating hair may either donate it to the hair bank in a process elaborated at www.hairbank.in or contact 9847098237.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 2:27:20 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/Donating-strands-of-hope/article15726254.ece