Shobha: Drawing Threads Between Beauty Treatments and Humanitarian Treatment


In an impetuous act of self indulgence I treated myself recently to some beauty treatments in New York. Having some time to kill I picked the first natural beauty salon that Google threw up and consequently I found myself in the cosy environs of Shobha. Specialising in threading, the traditional Indian hair removal treatment, this beauty studio also works with homemade all natural beauty products. The founder, Shobha Tummala says that she learnt all these recipes from her grandmother in India. "My grandmother made all my beauty products herself. Hair conditioner was created from crushed hibiscus petals picked from a tree in our backyard; soap from a mixture of shaved sandalwood and lentils. Moisturizer was just the cream from fresh milk." While I was happily being lathered in these freshly made lotions and potions, I was interested to learn that Shobha Tummala not only cares about her family’s traditional beauty regimes, but is also dedicated to supporting the livelihoods of her fellow Asian sisters. The Shobha salon supports development projects across India. Each year a portion of the salon’s profits is donated to different projects. This year, through the Sarada Kalyan Bhandar organisation, they they are sponsoring 5 women in West Bengal providing college tuition, healthcare, living expenses and books. Three of the five women they sponsored last year graduated with honours. The second project is called School-on-Wheels which picks up street kinds in Mumbai and Pune and offers them a mobile education. On-board the bus teachers give classes in reading writing and hygiene. The moving classroom also offers food and water during the day. Shobha says, ‘the program is already becoming a success, with children eagerly waiting for the bus in the mornings.’ ::Shobha
Shobha: 594 Broadway, Suite 403, NY and 595 Madison Ave, Suite 1403, NY.

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