Chekkutty is exhibiting at KTM as a beacon of resilience

Gopinath Parayil and Lakshmi at the Chekkutty stall

Chekkutty dolls which became a symbol of survival and hope in flood ravaged Kerala, has conquered the hearts of buyers, sellers, and all the other visitors at the Kerala Travel Mart held in Samudrika Convention Centre in Wellington Island.  Chekkutty was an initiative started to support Chendamangalam weavers who lost their stocks in the flood in August.

Ernakulam district Collector Safirulla IAS, Lakshmi Menon and Gopinath Parayil at Chekkutty stall in KTM wearing Chekkutty as a mascot of resilience and hope

The dolls are made from handloom sarees weaved for Onam sales, before the floods damaged them. The deluge has shattered the livelihood of over 600 weavers, mostly women. Lakshmi Menon, the creator of Chekkutty and a social entrepreneur, along with her friends, came up with this novel idea to make simple, yet adorable, Chekkutty dolls out of the damaged sarees. The revenue from the sale of the Chekkutty Doll is used for the rehabilitation of the weavers.

“The delegates at KTM are visiting our stalls and inquiring about it. This will certainly help us spread the concept of Chekkutty across the globe,” said Lakshmi. “It was sure that no one would buy the damaged clothes. We washed off the mud and chlorinated the sarees and made dolls out of it,” she added.  Dolls worth Rs 9,000 can be made from a single Chendamangalam saree, which costs Rs 3000.

The Blue Yonder stall at Kerala Travel Mart

The Blue Yonder stand (B16) at KTM was dedicated to the weavers of Chendamangalam and to those who overcame the flood with resilience and solidarity. The walls of the stall were adorned with sarees from the weavers of Chendamangalam which were lying unsold. “Post exhibition these ‘reclaimed’ sarees will be made into Chekutty dolls. The Chekutty lines on the three walls represent the flood water level ( at 8 ft) at the weaving units of Chendamangalam,” said Gopinath Parayil of Blue Yonder.