Indian-origin make-up artist and stylist Ash Kaur is looking to set up a temporary base in Hyderabad thanks to her new association with city NGO Art Shastra.
Ash, who lives in London for most of the year, decided to work with the NGO to support and help people suffering from skin ailments and disfiguration of face due to accidents or birth defects.
Talking about her new association, Ash, who has been involved with organisations like the British Red Cross, says “It was something that made sense to me. I am involved in this line of business and I wanted to give something back.”
And she doesn’t mind being called “vain”. “I know that is what people will say,” she admits. “But I don’t think people understand the importance of looks. You can’t expect them to till they are in the place themselves. I am just reaching out to those who are not able to present themselves to the world and go on with their daily lives. These are people who think they are stuck and have no choice but to live that way. Some of them are even disowned or made to feel like complete outcasts.”
Ash will not only be funding cosmetic surgeries, she will also be working with the people on re-constructing their confidence with their new looks.
She says she felt the need to get involved in charity while she grew up in Tanzania. “Although I had a comfortable childhood, I saw so much struggle around me that it became only natural that I would want to do something about it.”
For funding her Hyderabad NGO association, she will be putting in all her savings from the last two years. The average cost of a surgery and treatment could range anywhere from $500 to $5000 depending on the case and the condition, she informs.
“I want to get involved with the complete process of helping the person. As it stands now, I am coming to Hyderabad quite often,” says the artist, who spends her winters travelling and holding workshops across the globe. During summer, she is mostly busy with projects in London.
Ash was also the exclusive hair and make-up consultant for Hyderabad Fashion Week, Season 3, working with acclaimed fashion designers such as James Ferreira, Ramesh Dembla, Daniel Syiem, Shravan Ramaswamy and celebrities such as Zarine Khan, Regina Cassandra, and Catherine Tresa.
She was also the official hair and make-up sponsor for the London Indian Film Festival three years in a row.
After Hyderabad, she is headed to East Africa for workshops and also to look out for a similar charity there. “It’s hard you know. You need to first list out the NGOs that you can trust and it also involves a lot of footwork. Can’t just sit and do it online,” she says.