Turning trash into priceless gifts

As a baby, J A Radhika’s favorite TV programme was an artwork and craft present known as MAD. She didn’t miss a single episode and faithfully made no matter was proven on display screen. “That is how I fell in love with craft. I would spent hours making gifts for my classmates,” she recollects. The easy joys of childhood had been about to alter for Radhika when she was at school IV. “I had a fall in the playground and fractured my leg. I kept falling and injuring myself and I learnt that I suffer from a rare bone disease that makes my bone extremely soft,” says the 20-year-old from Coimbatore.

Radhika needed to discontinue her research and has been residence sure since then. “I was sad and depressed,” she says. But she began to do craft once more in 2017. “I watched a video on how to make a wall hanging out of upcycled paper and tried it out. It came out well and I hung it in my living room.” Soon pals and family started asking her to make some for them too. “I was overjoyed as people offered to pay me for my work. I then knew that I could make a business out of it,” she says.

After a number of months, Radhika needed to discover extra crafts and her brother, Raj Mohan urged that she attempt to make dolls. “He also gave me a few tutorial videos from the internet for my reference.” It took her a number of trials to get it proper. “The first doll that I made looked odd. I did not get the proportions right but I figured it out after a few attempts.” Raj posted pictures of those dolls on his social media web page and he or she obtained a number of orders on-line. “Most of my customers wanted customised pieces and I change the accessories and colour of the clothes to suit their requirement. I recently made a Krishna and Radha. But my favourite is the classic African dolls with their dark skin colour and bright clothes,” she says.

Radhika makes use of previous newspapers for her dolls and every takes three hours to be made. “I usually make them in my room after breakfast. All I need to make the doll is paper, scissors, glue and paint.” To make the dolls work waterproof, she applies a coat of varnish after it’s painted. “I also add metallic wires inside the doll to make the structure stronger,” she explains. Radhika has bought round 500 dolls up to now. “Most of my orders are from within the state. I have also sent a few to the US and Sri Lanka.”

The greatest change that craft has introduced in Radhika’s life is monetary stability. “I no longer have to depend on my parents. I am now home-schooled and I can buy books and other stationery with my own money. It has given me a lot of confidence.” Now, in the course of the lockdown, she is busy ending pending orders. “I have done 30 dolls in this month. I will ship them after the lockdown. I have also tried bottle art where I upcycle old glass bottles. I paint on them and make them into vases and showpieces.” In the long run, Radhika plans so as to add paper baskets and pen holders to her product record. “I plan to make popular cartoon characters soon.”

Price ranges from ₹180-₹700 for a doll. Visit https://www.facebook.com/radhikaja99 on Facebook or name 9791515994 to order.

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