The ‘daughter of the Earth’ is helping to rebuild lives in India
IN AUGUST 2018, severe floods affected the south Indian state of Kerala due to unusually high rainfall during the monsoon season.
Over 483 people died, 14 are still missing, and at least a million people were evacuated. It was the worst flooding in Kerala in nearly a century.
But one doll is rolling up her sleeves to help those affected by the floods.
Woven from the ruins of the flood, Bhoomika, which means “daughter of the Earth”, has long black hair tied into two plaits and a bright red bindi.
The only thing she wears is a white dress because she has no mouth, therefore she cannot wear a smile.
The bottom of her dress transforms into a little boat (symbolic for saving lives during the floods), on which she sits looking contemplative or stoic, somewhat.
At first glance, she may look like an ordinary doll but she carries with her the hope of helping the Kerala flood survivors.
Weaver’s Village founder Sobha Viswanathan, together with Pava Creative Studios’ Deepak Shivarajan, designed Bhoomika because they wanted to create something with life beyond the immediate tragedy of the floods.
“I wanted a strong and bold mascot. Women are generally depicted as weak and faint-hearted,” The Hindu quoted Sobha as saying.
“However, during the floods, it was women who stepped forward to help out the most.”
With the help of the girls from Nirbhaya Shelter Home, a refuge for victims of sexual abuse, the little lady is crafted entirely from discarded and waste fabric of any material and color.
Bhoomika can be purchased here for IDR201 (US$2.77) – perhaps a small fee for many but a world of a difference for the team behind it.
Proceeds from its sale will go towards raising money to buy necessary supplies like water purifiers and solar panels for the flood-battered parts of the state.
The Weavers Village also hopes to forward the funds to the women making them and provide vocational training to women across Kerala.