We all have that one friendly neighborhood barber (at least men do!), the guy who doubles up as your psychiatrist. To whom you blabber everything without caring much about privacy. The corner barbershop is nothing short of an offline Facebook, where regulars come to read the newspaper; complain about Indian politics, criticize every poor performance of Kohli (which is a rarity!) or gossip about the latest item number.
Meet Mr. Suresh Lanjewar, who owns, one such barbershop in the outskirts of Nagpur. We met him while he was busy giving one of those old-fashioned clean shaves from a straight razor! We almost ended up romanticizing the whole experience of an Indian roadside barbershop – the place where you just drop by to comb your hair and end up watching an entire episode of Crime Patrol!
When one of our talkative sales guys met Sureshji, he was not in his usual jovial mood. He looked disturbed and on probing further we found out he has been living in a Kaccha house since 2009 and was facing a lot of problems due to heavy monsoons. “The roof had leaked due to constant rains. There’s no place for my wife and kids to sleep. The house is flooded” Mr. Lanjewar recalled a ghost from the recent past.
He needed funds to renovate his home and was looking for a Home Construction Loan. Being self-employed and with very little proof of documented income, it had become a nightmare for him! He had the ability to pay in EMIs but none of the bigger financial institutions believed in his creditworthiness…
But thankfully our guy was listening!
We at HomeFirst extended a home construction loan to him within 48 hours and the family also received a subsidy of Rs. 2,67,280 on their home loan under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. “Our EMI reduced from Rs. 8500 to Rs. 5000 approx. The reduction in EMI for our home loan has made us feel very good.” said Mr. Lanjewar with a smiling face.
A buzzing neighborhood has so many distractions. That child wailing for an ice-cream, a thela with fresh vegetables and his unusual way of saying “sabzee le looo”, that arguing cyclist involved in a minor accident with an old Vespa, a pretty lady in her neatly draped saree.
A second’s distraction and you’re nicked with the old straight razor… But we thought it’s worth the risk!
Watch his story here: