TTD invites bids for selling hair

It reads just like any other tender notice and could easily pass off as a tender floated by the government or a private company. But for a small difference.

An advertisement in a newspaper calls for something unusual - sale of human hair. The advertiser, the Tirumala Tirupati Devesthanams (TTD) administers the richest temple in India, Sri Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala in AP.

There is obviously a huge demand for human hair from those making wigs, obviously recognised as a huge money-spinning opportunity by the TTD, as is evidenced by the advertisement. It is understood that there is a thriving business in human hair and wig-makers always look forward to tenders from temples like Tirumala which can offer a large quantity of hair.

The Tirupati Devasthanams tender notice said: "The human hair is collected from the tonsuring offered to the god (Lord Balaji) by the devotees. The hair so collected is segregated and dried."

The TTD is offering hair in two varieties - one between 16 inches to 40 inches and above and the second between 10 inches and 16 inches. It was not immediately known what the going rate for the human hair, estimated to be in thousands of kilograms would be.

However, the tender notice has stipulated that every bidder has to deposit Rs 3,90,000 for every 200-kg of hair (16-40 inches and above and Rs 2,37,000 for 200-kg of hair (10-16 inches).

Bidders interested in bagging this unusual but precious commodity (for wig-makers), will have to submit their bids by June 17. Given the large number of wig-makers in the country, especially in the unorganised sector, it is expected that the bidding will be intensively competitive.

It will indeed be an interesting few hours on June 17 at Tirupati.

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