While teenagers are finicky about their hair styles, a teenaged college girl student of Odisha tonsured her head to help a cancer patient make a wig out of the hairs that she shed.
Early this week, Shruti Swapna Maiti, a 19-year-old student of MPC government college in Baripada town of Mayurbhanj district, went under a barber’s razor to strip her long tresses of hair. “When I was in plus two, I saw the mother of a close friend losing her hair due to chemotherapy. She was distressed about the loss of her hair and I somehow wanted to help, but did not know how,” said Maiti.
Maiti said she recently came to know about the hair loss of another cancer patient, who is the mother of a close friend of hers. “When I expressed my desire at home, no one made fun of me. But I don’t think anyone took me seriously either. I went to a ladies parlour where I shaved my hair carefully so that it can be cleaned and packed for use by some cancer patients. There are a few websites that collect hairs for such patients,” she added.
Maiti said she was prepared to face the embarrassment of having a bald head so that some cancer patient can smile. “When a cancer patient loses hair due to chemotherapy, imagine how pathetic they feel. I can get my hair back in a few months, but a cancer patient may not regrow hair. It’s just a small help. Beauty comes and goes, but humanity is what counts,” said the girl, who has already pledged to donate her eyes and other organs in the event of her death.
Maiti’s grandparents said they are proud of her decision. “We are proud to be her grandparents. In a world where kindness is a rare thing, Shruti has shown how big her heart is. She is also a regular blood donor. Doing something for the society without expecting anything is big,” said Shruti’s grandparents Nirmal Kanti Bose and Kuni Bose.
Maiti said she got the idea of social service after joining the National Service Scheme in college. “In NSS I learnt that living for oneself isn’t life. I hope my hair donation gesture would motivate youths to come forward and help cancer patients,” she said.