This duo is helping a weaver community in Kerala get back on their feet after floods destroyed their stocks
When floods wreaked havoc in Kerala a few weeks back, Chendamangalam, a small town in the Ernakulam district of the state, got impacted too.
The town is famous for its centuries-old handloom sarees but unfortunately, the floods destroyed Rs 21 lakh worth of stock including sarees, shirts and dhotis as floodwaters entered the showrooms, dyeing units and factories of the five co-operative societies which employ approximately 600 weavers.
The total loss to the handloom industry in Chendamangalam is approximately Rs 15 crore.
In the midst of such devastation, hope for the weavers of Chendamangalam has come in the form of noted designer Lakshmi Menon, and Gopinath Parayil, the CEO of a travel company.
In coordination with one of the five cooperative societies, which employs 60 weavers, the duo is helping them convert some of the damaged stock into ‘Chekutty’ dolls, Chekutty meaning ‘the child who overcame dirt.’
They are being supported by an army of volunteers who clean and chlorinate the damaged sarees, shirts and dhotis and help these weavers convert them into dolls. Costing Rs 25 per piece, dolls made out of one damaged saree can gather revenues up to Rs 9000. In the open market, the same saree wouldn’t cost more than Rs 1300-1500.