Cancer donation
Himakshi with Jaina Jatwani, a seven-year-old grade 3 student at Dubai English Speaking School. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A 14-year old Indian expatriate has launched an initiative, CoviDONATE, where 19 individuals from all around the world will donate hair across 19 days until September 7.

CoviDONATE, which started on August 20, has so far received a number of hair donations from UAE residents and from some people living abroad .“We are planning on one hair donation a day. So as of Monday, August 24, we have received five hair donations,” said Himakshi Shastri, a Year 10 student of Dubai College.

She said funds for the initiative will be raised through online fundraiser and the money collected will go towards treatment of young cancer patients.

See More

Care for each other

“From as early as age four, I have participated in several ventures to make a positive mark in the world. I attempt to encourage global citizens to care for each other and the environment,” said Himakshi who had earlier collected more than 150 hair donations for other charitable cause.

“The aim of CoviDONATE is to bring a smile to as many faces of cancer patients as possible and therefore, besides the hair donation, the fund-raising campaign also runs alongside,” she explained.

Himakshi, who is a child environmentalist and the author of the book ‘Prized Words’, said she thought of the idea as a way to take the negative 19 out of COVID-19 and replace it with 19 positive inspiring individuals who want to donate their hair and make a difference to the society. “On the final 19th day, I will donate my hair, which will be for the second time,” she said.

Good cause

The Dubai College student has so far managed to rope in donors from Miami, Canada, UAE and the Caribbean Islands who have all agreed to be a part of the initiative and donate their hair for a good cause.

Dubai student Jaina Jatwani, seven, a Year 3 student at Dubai English Speaking School, who donated her hair on the first day of the campaign on August 20, said: “I would like to give my hair to cancer patients because I want to do a kind deed. If I can bring a smile to even one cancer patient with my hair donation, it will be a big achievement. I know cancer patients go through a lot of psychological pain as they lose hair. With this initiative, I hope to make someone happy.”

Brings joy

American national, Divyana Mirpuri, 11, a Grade 7 student studying in Riviera Preparatory School — Miami, Florida, will be donating her hair on August 30.

She said: “I want to help children with cancer because my hair has always been something that has brought joy to me and has given me confidence and I would like to help someone else feel the same.”

Dubai student David Koshy, 13, who donated his hair on the third day of the donation campaign on August 22, said: “Donating hair to children suffering from cancer gives me immense pleasure as it will bring a smile in their lives and they will not be subjected to any bullying.”

NAT 200824 PIC1-1598695689279
Himakshi (right) with David Koshy, a 13-year-old grade 8 student at the Winchester School in Dubai

Who can donate?

Anyone with a wish to help and with good strong hair.

Guidelines for suitable hair

Himakshi said: “We accept hair that is at least eight inches long, as some of the hair would be lost during manufacturing of the wigs. It has to be clean, dry, hair in good condition (no split ends) from any gender and of any natural colour. The hair can be straight, wavy, curly, permed or chemically straightened. Any dyes used on hair from natural colour is also acceptable. Also, if the hair is too grey, it will not serve the purpose.”