Free haircut for govt school kids here

Sanjay Mahale oversees the`free' hair cut given to a student from DK ZP higher primary school at his Kudla Mens professional saloon in Bikarnakatte.

A boy, younger than 10 years, walks into a barber’s shop at Bikarnakatte and proudly flashes his student identity card before sitting in one of the chairs to get a free haircut.

It is not just this boy.

“All students of the government-run primary school next to my shop are eligible for a free haircut if they display their ID cards,” explains Sanjay Mahale, who owns the Kudla Men’s Professional Saloon in Bikarnakatte.

Sanjay – Sanju, as he is popularly known in the locality – hails from Siddapura taluk in Uttara Kannada district. The youngest among four children of his parents, Sanjay had to drop out of school due to poverty. Learning hair styling from his father instead, he came to Mangaluru looking for a job 23 years ago.

According to friends, Sanjay had a keen desire to help others in whatever manner possible. Years ago, he used to offer haircuts at concessional rates to differently abled children who were staying in a special school located next to his shop.

I-Day celebrations

At the request of the members of the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat Higher Primary School Alumni Association, Sanjay began distributing three kg laddoos worth Rs 100 to the students for the Independence Day celebrations in the school. In 2013, as a part of the Independence Day celebrations, he also organised a mass free haircut.

Sanjay expresses happiness at having been charitable for one day and collecting money from students requiring a haircut for the rest of the year. Since 2013, he has been offering free haircuts to the students of the school.

On the other hand, anxious that students would misuse the money saved for the haircuts, Sanjay reveals having informed the school head teacher on his decision to give free haircuts. “The students get no fancy haircuts but a basic summer cut,” he adds with a smile.

Head teacher Rajeevi and Alumni Association vice president Mohan Bangera have both called Sanjay’s initiative of a free haircut noble.

Increase in enrolment

School Development Monitoring Committee (SDMC) president Jayalatha S Amin, when informed of Sanjay’s gesture, was all praise for the Sanjay. “Children of the poorest families enrol in government schools. It is such initiatives that have helped increase the enrolment into the government school from 89 last year to 110 in the current academic year,” she explains.

While Sanjay still keeps from advertising his act towards the students of the school, he concurs that it is an effort to raise enrolment.

“I do not have lakhs of rupees to donate to the school, although it still needs a lot of facilities. The free haircut is my way of helping teachers in their efforts at increasing students enrolment and saving the school from closure,” he adds.

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Free haircut for govt school kids here

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