MYSURU: Two brothers of a Dalit family have turned ambassadors of social harmony in Mysuru villages. They have not only put an end to social tension but have also given dignity to members of their community in Kappasoge and neighbouring villages.
As Dalits were finding it difficult to get a haircut at barbershops in the villages, KP Mahadeva and his brother KP Siddaraju started offering services at the doorstep of community memebrs in Kappasoge, Kuruhundi, Gowdarahundi and Madanahalli which have a sizeable dalit population.
Many times, Dalits of all age groups had to visit Ullahalli or Nanjangud town for a haircut after being barred from availing services from barbershops in their village. Besides spending extra money on travel, they even had to spare a day for the odd job.
Mahadeva said it is more of a service to him than making money. Now, everyone wait for us to get their hair dressed at their doorsteps, he added.
The Dalit brothers are into this profession for eight years and have plans to open a harmonious salon if the government extends them financial support. Mahadeva said they want to have exclsive salons in Dalit colonies in villages in a bid to end social tension and also strengthen harmony and brotherhood among people.
While the salon owners fear thar extending services for Dalits would land them in trouble as upper caste clients don't like to visit such shops.
"We have 30 guntas of dry land. We work as agriculture labourers or take up electrical jobs on holidays when there is no request for their services," he said.
When the pandemic spelt mayhem on many, it changed the fortunes of these brothers as they offered services at a time when people were reluctant to go towns or visit barbershops.
The doorstep service is a big hit as they charge a nominal Rs 40 for a haircut and Rs 20 for a shave.
"Despite being in the profession for over eight years, our repeated pleas for loan to set up a shop have fallen on deaf ears of local politicians. However, we do doorstep until when there is potential to set up shops in Dalit dominated villages which have no salons," he said.
He said that their success would inspire too many youths to set up their own business and end tensions in the villages.