Abu Dhabi: Chekutty dolls, which almost symbolised of Kerala’s fightback in the wake of floods, are creating waves among the Malayali community in UAE too. They were the star attractions at the Keralolsavam festival organised by Kerala Social Centre (KSC) here.
Hundreds of visitors arrived at the venue to learn about the dolls, which are created by Chendamangalam weavers using flood-damaged handlooms in an effort to overcome the losses they had suffered.
With the organisers arranging a camp on doll-making, several people learnt the method. Over a thousand dolls were made during the 10-day camp. Several organisations based in the UAE joined the effort. It was Friends of Kerala Sahitya Parishad that had taken the initiative to bring Chekutty to UAE.
Differently abled children also were given training in making Chekuttis. Cloth was brought from Chendamangalam for the purpose.
Shyam, secretary of the Parishad, said that Chekutty was the symbol of the effort to rebuild Kerala post floods. It was to bring this idea to the mainstream that the event was organised. The entire income from the doll sales would be donated to the Kerala rebuilding fund, Shyam said.
The floods had destroyed the looms at the handloom village in Chendamangalam and deposited silt and mud on the woven cloth. Chekutty signified the determination shown by the weavers to rebuild their lives, according to social entrepreneurs Gopinath Parayil and Lakshmi Menon, who conceptualised the dolls.
Gopinath and Lakshmi said at a discussion held at the Parishad Bhavan that their aim is to ensure that at least one Chekutty doll reaches every house and car of non-resident Keralites in UAE. Apart from financial benefit from the sales, Chekutti serves as the reminder of a crucial development, they said.