KOCHI: When the largest portrait of Nelson Mandela on a blanket - visible even from outer space - will be unfurled next year over the skies of South Africa to mark the 100th birth anniversary of the anti-apartheid icon, a Kochi resident will be on cloud nine.Rani Thomas, a homemaker from Kochi and India coordinator of the 'Massive Mandela Masterpiece' project, the brainchild of the '67 Blankets - a charitable organisation based in South Africa - has been actively involved in contributing to the mission from the country.
When the huge portrait spread across 1,764 blankets knitted together will be unfurled in South Africa in April 2018, it would be a gratifying moment for her as she is all set to dispatch 100 blankets sourced with the help of students and teachers from various educational institutions and others. "More than 150 women connected through Facebook and WhatsApp have been working for this movement. What made me join this charity project called 67 BNM was the unconditional love and unity each and every crocheter and knitters showed. To stitch by stitch they pledged to keep thousands upon thousands of people less fortunate warmer in all the winters to come in the name of Madiba," she said.
Rani joined the 67 Blankets movement when she went to Chennai to take part in a knitting competition organised by a Facebook group called Mother India's Crotchet Queens in 2016. The group later won the Guinness record by creating the largest crotchet blanket of 11,148 sqm.