A hair salon owner in Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat, has a unique incentive for his customers who give up tobacco and alcohol.
Pravin Sharma, popularly known as Pravin Master, offers a free haircut or shave to those who promise him that they will give up liquor, tobacco or cigarettes.
A hairdresser for 12 years, Pravin started this initiative three years ago when he put up a hoarding of his unique offer outside his salon. Slowly, word has spread in the city and Pravin says he gets around 2-3 calls every day to avail of the offer.
“The number of such customers actually coming to my salon is, however, not more than four-five a month,” he told Scoopwhoop.
Not only this, he also promises addicts that if they are able to stay away from tobacco or liquor for three months and do not find any improvement in health, he will bear the cost of their vices all life.
"But such a case has never happened," he said.
How does he even make sure the customers are genuine?
"I take them at their word, and leave the rest to god. I feel most people don't lie about such things simply to get a free offer," he said.
Pravin, 30, owns three men's salons in Gandhinagar and all three are called Bombay Hair Art. While he usually only manages the salons, he personally attends to these special customers.
"Anyway, it's not eating into my regular business since such customers are attended to only by me and not by my staff,” he added.
So far, he claims he has helped at least 15 people kick their vices.
Why does he do it?
Pravin, a father of two, was addicted to tobacco himself until seven years ago. He says he saw at least three regular customers his die of cancer.
“They were always chewing tobacco, so I believe that must have been the cause. I was shocked! I wish I could help them but I did not have enough money. At the same time, I was struggling with the habit myself. Slowly, I gave up chewing tobacco,” he said.
Pravin says he saw a marked improvement in health.
“I weighed around 45 kg when I was chewing tobacco, but it slowly touched 70 after I gave it up and has remained constant. I was puny then, but look and feel healthier now. So I made it a mission to spread the message,” he said.