A MASCOT OF RESURRECTION
Chekutty toys! I don’t know how many of you have heard this name. Chekutty is a tiny cloth doll with a simple design. It is from the village of Chendamangalam in Kerala, which is famous for its handloom tradition. But how do this finger lengthed toy became a mascot of resurrection of a society?
The story begins in 2018. Kerala was badly affected by a flood in mid August. It is said to be the worst in a century. Most part of Kerala was drowned and much destructions were caused to life, infrastructure economy etc.
Chendamangalam was also heavily strucked by this flood. This village have a traditional “thari”, a handloom machine in most households and they produce sarees predominantly. They are GI tag recognized and works as a cooperative cottage industry.
As the months of August and September are festive season of Kerala, loads of sarees was stockpiled in these houses. All these were drowned in muddy waters and became useless. The textile workers has literally lost their livelihoods.
But the weavers were not ready to succumb. They, with the assistance and support of an NGO, made simple stylish cloth toys out of the damaged sarees.They named it Chekutty.This toys has become a huge success in market, due to its simplicity and beauty. The people of Kerala saw it as a mascot of their resurrection. Weavers got orders from abroad too and they could make more profits than from selling sarees.
The story of “Chekutty” is really a signboard as we all go through another devastating disaster. “Chekutty” which means ‘the muddy kid’ (Cheru – mud, kutty- kid) shows us with certain wit and presence of mind, we can convert any crisis to an opportunity.