This 42-old-year old woman is contributing to the environment in her own creative way. In her free time, Sowmya Srikanth recycles waste products to make dolls.
Kasa dinda Rasa (Good products out of waste) is what this 42-year-old has learnt from her grandfather’s generation. Sowmya with her skills innovatively recycles household trash and makes toys.
She makes all her dolls by using bottles, soap cases, coconut waste, tubes, steel plates and household waste. Since her husband is a doctor she also uses old X-ray films, waste injection tubes, OHP sheets and converts these waste products into toys. “I am a science graduate and creativity runs in my family. I drew inspiration from my mother who was very artistic. Since childhood, my sister and I used to help my mother with her art-work. Inspired by her I continued to do this as a hobby,” said Sowmya who resides in Rajajinagar.
She first decides a theme and then creates the backdrops and finally accomodates the dolls with the right clothing and adornement. “My scenes are from Ramayana and Shivagange, tragic deaths of Jatayu or festivities in Ayodhya, I depict the mood of the story,” says Sowmya who has not commercialised her art. “I have created more than 100 themes. The moment I convert this into business, it will lose its sanctity. I usually give it away to my family and friends. They pay me back in the form of old clothes, beautifully shaped bottles and other stuff required for making dolls. And since she uses waste products, her expenses are not much, she says. “I only pay for the paints I buy and I use tissue rolls and little bit of fevicol and water,” she says who usually takes half an hour to make tiny dolls and an elaborate one week to 10 days when she retraces the story into creation
She has a store in the house where she neatly stacks her old materials. “My family and husband have been very supportive,” she says.
Though she does not sell her creativity, she does take orders for handmade paper bags for various occasions for which she has not hired any staff. Her team comprises her sister, her 19-year-old daughter and all the cousins in the family.
Recognised by Bharath Vikas Parishath, Sowmya intends to take her art to rural areas. “I don’t run a class because it demands a lot of commitment but I go to government schools and teach the teachers there,” she said.