Graduate turned barber to support family members - The New Indian Express

Graduate turned barber to support family members

Published: 29th July 2013 08:22 AM

Last Updated: 29th July 2013 09:54 AM

Women holding a pair of scissors and cropping tresses is a familiar sight in unisex salons in cities. But driven by financial constraints, a young woman Commerce graduate in Tirupur district has set up a roadside barber’s shop to give a perfect shave and haircut to men and supplement her familial income.

It has been 24 days since Devi, a BCom graduate from the Chikkanna Government Arts College here, set up the barber shop on Trichy Road opposite the Government Hospital in Palladam arousing the curiosity and skepticism of men. But this daughter of a poor barber is determined that she would succeed in attracting more customers.

“Since childhood I used to be in father’s salon during free time observing him at work. Four years ago, when I was in college, I was at the shop when my father, a diabetic, fainted midway while giving a shave to a customer. I stood helpless but quickly gathered my wits and took the razor to complete the half-finished job,” Devi recalled.

Now with her salary as an accountant not enough to maintain the family of four – parents and a younger brother, she has taken to the part-time barber’s job.

“My father had borrowed heavily after my elder brother died. Now his health has deteriorated and I stepped in,” she said.

Men were initially hesitant to trust her barbering skills. Some even teased her.

 “Slowly customers have started walking in. I hold the scissors and razor between 6 pm and 10 pm daily. Some who were reluctant to allow me to work on their hairstyle are now confident and even empathise with me,” she added. She hopes to expand her salon and engage more women but she realises the social risks. “I know this could affect my future. But to get out of the family debt, I need at least Rs 5 lakh,” she added.

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