KOCHI: To give a rebirth to the handloom sector at Chendamangalam, following the devastating floods, volunteers have taken an innovative step to make a doll from the spoiled clothes. The money thus earned will be used for the upliftment of weavers and help them get back to normalcy.
“The doll named Chekutty tells the revival story of our state. It is created in solidarity with Kerala and how we fought the disaster,” said designer Lakshmi Menon, a key organiser of the initiative. She noted it was through Gopinath Parayil, a responsible tourism activist that she came to know about the sad situation at Chendamangalam. Now both of them along with volunteers are making the dolls.
“We asked the weavers to hand over the damaged clothes. The dolls are the reflection of Malayalees who went through ups-and-downs during the floods. Hence it does not represent beauty, instead its stains are a symbol of our victory,” she added.
Lakshmi said that 360 dolls can be made from one saree with each doll being sold at Rs 25. “Usually the weavers get about Rs 1,000-1,500 but the floods have left the sarees completely useless. Now they will get Rs 9,000 for dolls made using one saree,” she said. She said that the Chendamangalam residents are busy cleaning up their house and starting over. “The residents have to only hand over the material and we will credit the funds to the weavers’ society,” she said.
They began the initiative two days ago and already, customers from all over the world are approaching them to buy the dolls. “We are selling Chekutty both online and via shops. Till now we have made about 200 dolls and are waiting for the stock to come from Chendamangalam and we will be going full swing soon,” she said.