Gift for a Good Cause! 9-year-old Boy Donates 26 Inches Hair 1-Day before his Upanayanam

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Gift for a Good Cause! 9-year-old Boy Arnav Prabhu, a 4th Grade student at Amrita Vidyalayam, Boloor, Mangaluru Donates 26 inches of grown Hair, totally shaved off, one day before his Upanayanam aka Brahmopadesham. Arnav was the world’s youngest child when he had donated 15 inches of his 18.5 inches gown hair when he was only 2.8 years old. Now for the second time at the age of nine (Probably youngest in India/State), he has once again donated 26 inches of hair, which we all should commend him for his kind gesture towards a good cause

Mangaluru: More than Beauty, Hair is an important part of one’s life and body, especially for women. For a person, who had lost hair during chemotherapy when they were diagnosed with Cancer, a nice hairdo is a perfect and nice gift. Donating hair for cancer patients is both easy and rewarding and anyone can do so. Our hair that takes so long to grow can be made into a beautiful wig for someone who really needs it to maintain a positive body image after her hair is shed due to chemotherapy. And here we have a young boy who has come forward, not once but twice, to donate his precious hair for a good cause, essential to people in need”.

Donate Hair, Donate Confidence! The minimum length of hair required for the donation is 12 inches. It is a kind, generous and satisfying way for those who want to give something back to society to show that they care. Hair loss during chemotherapy or radiation is the most physically apparent sign of cancer disease. Cancer starts very slowly then it severely affects the body. Hair is an important part of our looks and the way we project ourselves to the world. Hair is precious and even more so to someone who loses it suddenly due to medical reasons. For cancer patients, hair loss is the most stressful and traumatic side effect of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. This effect on their appearance can be a further setback to patients who are already enduring physical and emotional hardship. The patients lose their identity, lack self-esteem and have lowered morale.


And here we have a nine-year-old boy, who donated 24 inches of his hair to make wigs for cancer patients on 28 December 2023, a day before his Brahmopadesham. The Upanayanam aka Brahmopadesham is an ancient Vedic ritual in which the young Hindu boy is invested with the sacred thread and initiated into the Gayatri mantra – the Holiest of all mantras in the legacy of the Rishis, “Upa” means near and “Nayanam” signifies leading to; thus signifying nearer to God. This ceremony starts the journey of a young boy as he seeks worldly as well as religious and spiritual knowledge.

Arnav Prabhu, son of Ms Srilatha Prabhu, retired from a media firm and now a homemaker and Ashwin Prabhu from Alake, a businessman and a fourth-grade student of Amrita Vidyalayam, donated his hair for the second time that he had grown for the last four years. The first time, Arnav donated 15 inches of hair when he was 2.8 years old. Ms Srilatha speaking to Team Mangalorean said, “Arnav was watching videos related to chemotherapy, and was inspired to help cancer patients. The idea to grow his hair for the second time emerged during the prolonged closure of schools due to Covid-19. We were unable to visit a salon during this period, but once schools reopened, we discussed our concerns with the school head, and she graciously permitted Arnav to attend school with long hair.”

Ashwin Prabhu said, “The first time Arnav donated hair in 2017, they contacted Yathish Deshpande from Mumbai, who makes wigs for cancer patients. This time the challenges were many. Following the ritual, the haircutting for Brahmopadesham was conducted at home, adhering to the prohibition of salon services during this ceremony. Arnav’s long and thick hair was carefully tied into five ponytails before being shaved off. The collected hair was then neatly packed into a box and presented to Yuvashakti Kadeshivalaya. This organisation has been actively involved in over 250 hair donations for cancer patients in and around Mangaluru. However, despite facing challenges and even enduring teasing where he was referred to as a girl, Arnav remained firm in his decision to grow his hair. “I am happy about my decision.”

Both parents are happy with their son’s decision to donate hair for a good cause, those who need hair desperately. “He is no doubt an inspiration for other young children to come forward and donate their hair when they have enough hair. We are very proud of our son, and we hope many other young people like him follow in his footsteps and do the needful in donating hair to cancer survivors. Donating hair is one of the ways by which we can support those living with cancer,” said Arnav’s parents.

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