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June 2015

Meet the Fearless Beauties: Sheela and Anju

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Photography courtesy of Solana Prema Torres

By the end of the first week, Sheela began to stand out as not only a student who understands English, but as a person who has “the hands” for hair. With this combination and her gentle yet confident personality, Sheela eagerly stepped up to assist me with the translation and demonstration of techniques. She always shows up to class on time, works hard, and diligently masters the techniques. She is that student that every teacher loves to have in class.

Photography courtesy of Solana Prema Torres

Photography courtesy of Solana Prema Torres

Anju stands out in class as an absolute natural. She needs only to see and hear a technique done once, and she effortlessly picks it up. Even more beautiful for me to watch is her innately humble personality and innocent shyness. Although she excels at each technique that her hands attempt, she quietly, with rosy cheeks and a twinkle in her eye, accepts praise with sincere gratitude.

Anju’s family is supportive of her and sees her success in our program as something positive. They understand that by receiving an education and learning a trade, Anju will be able to contribute to the family.  This is surprisingly rare for a young woman in India in her caste. In many households, it’s not an option for a girl to receive any education be it in literacy or to learn a profession that has the ability to propel her into independence.