The definition of fund-raisers has been revamped. Move aside stuffy parties that charge exorbitant rates per plate in the name of charity or stalls put up to create awareness and raise money. Times have changed and web-based, non-profit organisations like Movember and No-Shave November are on the rise.
What began as an obscure challenge over beer between two friends to bring back the moustache trend is now a global phenomenon where men grow well-groomed moustaches to raise conversation, awareness and funds for several men’s health issues. Getting the idea in 2003, they found 30 other guys willing to take up the challenge and thought, why not make it better and do it to raise awareness for prostate & testicular cancer and mental & physical health of men. Thus Movember (Moustache + November) was conceived.
While No-Shave November works on the similar concept of using hair to incite conversations and raise awareness, it is also about thankfulness. A family to whom the cause is personal due to losing their father to colon cancer, started the movement in 2009 to get people to ditch body & facial hair grooming for a month and donate the cost of the same to cancer prevention, education and research. People all over the world participate and embrace their hair, for many cancer patients lose theirs due to treatment, and use it as a tool to generate funds.
Vizag has caught up on this phenomenon with men and women not shaving and local cafes offering discounts to people participating. Despite being a hit with youngsters, not many know the real concept of why it is done. With growing awareness on social media one would think there would be a broader understanding of the concept, yet for most it seems to only be a chance to sport a beard. Even women are picking up on the concept and breaking social barriers by forgoing facial and body hair grooming, but there are still who are hesitant to do it. Yo! Vizag caught up with youngsters who are doing it for the cause.
“When I found out about Movember in France, I started off by growing a moustache and donating to my college club. I’ve been doing Movember and No-Shave November since three years and for the past two years I’ve donated the proceeds to Save our Souls. I personally like growing facial hair as I feel it defines masculinity and doing it for a cause is even better. I get to do my bit and not shaving for a month helps me develop patience (laughs). Corporates don’t like the unshaven look and I’ve had people both take in my appearance in a positive manner and laugh at me about it. I take it all in stride.” – Prasanth Ram
“Many people sport a ribbon for causes, that’s easy. To not shave for a month shows dedication, especially with the social standards we are forced to keep up to. I came to know about it a few years back in college when a teacher commented on my classmate’s beard. I googled it up on going home, noticed all the hashtags on social media and have been hooked ever since. People are too polite to comment on my moustache, something to do with manners and proprietary. So it is up to me to bring it up in regular conversations or when people think I’m being lazy because a lot of people don’t know what it stands for.” – Roshini Rajendra