It’s November and several men are sporting a beard, some without even knowing the eleventh month is observed as “no-shave” month. In contrast, Ryma of Ernakulam, shaved off her hair, without knowing November is the “no-shave month.”
November is being observed as “no-shave month” to create awareness and raise funds for treating cancer.
A birthday decision
Ryma tonsured her head on November 1, her birthday. She had earlier decided to donate her hair to cancer patients, and did not face opposition from her family. Her parents are proud of her act.
Hair is dear, humanity is dearer
For Ryma, hair is dear, and she used to spend at an hour to tend to it. She realized her hair did not matter much after seeing cancer patients with bald pate. She had been preparing to donate hair for the past one year.People are mostly surprised to see her tonsured hair, but friends and neighbours’ attitude has been encouraging.
A bucketful of hair
When Ryma was pursuing her post-graduation, a few people from a Cancer Foundation visited her hostel. They asked the hostel residents to collect hair that falls off, in a bucket. After sometime, the bucket became full, but it started to stink too. Ryma decided to donate hair when they threw away that bucketful of hair.
Hair for hope
She searched the Internet after deciding to donate hair, and came across the organization, Hair for Hope. She contacted the organization over Facebook, and its chief, Premi Mathew, responded, saying the hair should be at least 15-inch long. Ryma donated hair through the members of the organization in Kerala. She hopes that her hair would help a cancer patient look good.
Ryma was unaware of No-shave November until the day after she had donated her hair. Several people asked her whether she had tonsured her head to be different from those observing the no-shave month. Ryma says both—those who observe the no-shave month—and her act were for the same cause.
Ryma, who is pursuing an MA in Psychology as part of distant education programme, has been working as a counselor at an old-age home in Ernakulam.