Inspiring: Why The 2 Female Barbers Of Kushinagar Are Surprising Everyone
Far away from fancy unisex salons where gender is insignificant for both clients and beauticians, a tiny barber shop is gaining popularity as much it is drawing flaks. Eighteen-year-old Jyoti and her sister Neha (16) are now in-charge of a tiny, makeshift barber shop giving haircuts and shaves to customers that are all males.
It is an unusual sight that will take anyone by surprise who knows how the non-metro India operates. These shops have are only frequented by males for a cheap haircut, quick face massage, beard and armpit shave, and a nimble ear clean-up - their full range of services. They are run by men and the business is handed down only to sons or other male relatives in the family. But Banwari Tola village of Padrauna in Kushinagar district of Uttar Pradesh tells a different tale.
It has been five years now that the girls are working in their father's shop after this unusual takeover became a need. After their father suffered a paralysis attack the elder sister Jyoti had to take to the scissors to save the family from starvation. It wasn't her choice but she rose up to the challenge.
She wore her hair short and dressed like a young boy so that her customers do not find out the truth.
If people knew a girl was running a barber shop they would shy away from frequenting what was the family's only source of livelihood. She was later joined by her younger sister, a STD 10 dropout.
Their hardwork began bearing fruits and their income reached upto Rs 400-500 everyday. They were able to support their family as well as pay for their father's treatment. They further invested money into the shop and gave it a much-needed makeover.
“When I started off, I had no idea about shaving or haircut. I changed my named as Deepak aka Raju to hide my identity. Later, Neha also shunned hesitation and joined me,” Jyoti, who discontinued studies after STD 12, told Hindustan Times.
The kept their secret well for sometime but later the customers suspected and found out the truth. But they weren't causing them stress. It was the jeering and sharp taunts from their own relatives that hurt them. These family members had never helped them in their testing times and now when the girls were working hard to salvage a tough situation for their family they tried to bog them down.
Their father is still recovering from the paralysis and he is immensely proud of his girls. “I feel proud of my daughters who supported the family in crisis.”