Why 2 Girls Disguised Themselves as Male Barbers

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Why 2 Girls Disguised Themselves as Male Barbers

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Neha (16) and Jyoti (18) Kumari are two sisters who grew up in the Banwari Tola village in Uttar Pradesh, India.

In 2014, their father became too ill to work, and the girls took it upon themselves to earn enough money to pay for his medical expenses as well as their own education. Neha and Jyoti decided to take over their father’s barber shop to earn money, but there was one issue—in India, the barber profession belongs predominately to men.

Neha and Jyoti didn’t let that stand in their way, though. The two girls disguised themselves as men by cutting their hair or tying their hair back, dressing like men in shirts and jeans, and even adopting the male names Deepak and Raju.

“We assumed that the villagers wouldn’t want to get a shave or anything from us because we were girls,” they told ABP Live.

Over time, their business grew, and as it became more successful, the girls decided to reveal their identities. The people of the village, although hesitant at first, eventually accepted the girls. The girls’ business continued to grow and earn them enough money to care for their father and pay for their education.

After hearing the story of The Barbershop Girls, Gillette, a well known shaving company, granted the girls a scholarship to pay for their education. Famous cricket player Sachin Tendulkar presented the scholarship to Neha and Jyoti and let them give him a shave.

Tendulkar getting his first shave from Neha and Jyoti via Punekar News

According to Good News Network, Tendulkar posted a picture of himself and the girls with the caption, “You may not know this, but I have never gotten a shave from someone else before. That record has been shattered today. Such an honor to meet the Barbershop Girls.”

Sachin Tendulkar (middle) presenting the scholarship to The Barbershop Girls (left and right) via Good News Network

The Barbershop Girls were also featured in a Gillette video campaign #ShavingStereotypes. The campaign’s goal is to shatter gender stereotypes, especially in the workforce, by spreading the message that “the blade that shaves does not know whether a girl or a guy is using it.”

Tendulkar told Good News Network, “We should always remember the kids of today are watching and they learn from what we see. I hope lots of kids today will see how Neha and Jyoti and their village [have] shown great courage and right attitude to break stereotypes and move forward.”