COVID 19: Karuna dolls spread hope and joy during the pandemic


Dolls giving well being ideas, artisans going digital, age-old looms getting trendy makeovers. Here is to the revolutionary spirit of our handloom communities

Kovid Kumari symbolises hope and joy. She is one in all the many Karuna (compassion) dolls being made throughout the nation to focus on the plight of artisans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conceptualised and promoted by the voluntary on-line motion creativedignity.org (CD), these dolls are being created by ladies spinners, weavers and embroiderers from their properties: from Punjab to Puducherry.

The finger-sized Karuna dolls will probably be launched on National Handloom Day (August 7) by every State, and the venture will probably be unfurled on August 15. An app that can make it simpler for artisans to get onboard digital advertising platforms can be in the making, and will probably be launched quickly.

This is a component of a bigger programme to attach artisans and their craft with a market.

Says Creative Dignity’s Meera Goradia, who has been working with artisans in varied capacities for 30 years, “CD has brought together diverse creative producers, practitioners and professionals to energise the ecosystem that Indian artisans need now. Our focus is to provide relief, and rejuvenation in a bid to ensure the sustained prosperity of artisans.”

Regional heritage

Rajasthan’s Maru doll is impressed by the well-known people story Dhola Maru.

On the different hand, “Kovid Kumari from Haryana represents the craft of crochet. She works with women in the villages telling them that their family’s health is in their hands,” says Bindu Manchanda, who oversees the dolls from Haryana and Rajasthan and is the head of INTACH Community, Craft and Heritage . Around 25 ladies in the villages round Hisar have been skilled to make the dolls, she says, including, “The sale of the dolls will supplement their income.”

Punjab’s Karuna dolls are the brother-sister duo Veerawali and Veer, says Lakshmi Ahuja over telephone from Bhatinda. “Our dolls are imbued with the spirit of karuna present in the langar served in gurudwaras, which be certain that nobody goes hungry. In Punjabi folklore, Veerawali has many brothers and is the darling of her household. She is at all times prepared to assist. The dolls spotlight the naada-making (drawstrings utilized in salwars) and paraandi (braids) crafts of Punjab. Fabric left over from garment-making, together with males’s turbans and ladies’s dupattas, are getting used for these.”

Meera explains that they’re working to allow artisans to align with the digital world and creating campaigns for inventory gross sales. “Design schools such as Srishti, NIFT, IICD hand-hold the artisans in taking professional photographs and uploading them. We are building a stock sales listing, inviting B2B buyers to meet and interact with artisans.”

In Puducherry, Karuna is a resurrection of Tsunamika, the doll born out of the devastating 2004 Tsunami, which was created by Uma Prajapati and her crew at Upasana.

“By supporting the handmade industry,” says Uma, “you are providing creative dignity to over 200 million artisans who are passing the art from one generation to another.” Uma’s crew made six million Tsunamika dolls that have been retailed throughout 80 nations. “For the Karuna doll, we have chosen a colour combination and material that is representative of the South. A loop has been attached that makes it utterly versatile to be used as keychains or other accessories,” says Uma.

French join

Meanwhile a gaggle of ladies in Patna are busy making Babua and Babuni dolls for the venture.

Coordinator Veena Upadhyay, who rejuvenated the craft of additional weft amongst artisans in Bihar’s Siwan district, says that the prototype dolls have been gifted as souvenirs when the ladies represented Bun Kar Bihar (a retail model) at Maison et Objet, a significant French commerce honest in Paris in December 2019. “So when the idea came up, we had the prototype ready. The women are helped by their daughters and that is how the artistry is handed down through generations.”

COVID 19: Karuna dolls spread hope and joy during the pandemic

Chekutty, the little doll that grew to become an emblem of the resilience of Kerala weavers during the 2018 floods, will now have a Karuna consultant: the Kadhakali finger puppet. “It will be made using Kerala handloom. Kathakali is a single art form that ties together many facets of Kerala. Its story will be narrated through micro puppetry,” says Lakshmi Menon, co-founder, Chekutty including that the Kadhakali finger puppetry is new to Kerala story telling.

In time, CD plans to introduce extra crafts to the repertoire, together with steel, wooden and leather-based.

As these dolls get able to be launched, many concepts are nonetheless being formulated. One is a Karuna doll starting her journey in an electrical car from one State, and different dolls becoming a member of her as she traverses by way of the nation, spreading hope and joy.

Contact Creative Dignity at 9821233473

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