Japan crochet to re-weave life in Manipur-

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Express News Service

GUWAHATI: People displaced by the ethnic violence in Manipur are taking lessons on the art of crocheting amigurumi dolls for sustainable livelihood.

Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures.

The ‘1 Million Heroes’, a global, multi-platform entertainment brand dedicated to inspiring and instil confidence in a generation of children around the world, came up with this idea for sustainable livelihood for Manipur’s internally displaced persons, who are leading a cluttered existence in makeshift relief camps. 

The team of 1 Million Heroes is training them in crocheting amigurumi dolls for global marketing. The training is being imparted to inmates, mostly women, in five relief camps.

Laishram Geeta Leima (36) is one of the 210 inmates of the Khangabok relief camp in Thoubal district. She is pinning her hope on crocheting for the short-term livelihood of her family in these troubled times. 

Her village in Sugnu Awang Leikai in Kakching district was attacked by armed miscreants on May 27. She is now optimistic about earning a living as the art of crocheting amigurumi dolls is easy to master and productive as well.

“We have no means of livelihood. During these dark times, the 1 Million Heroes team came to train us to crochet amigurumi dolls. I’ve almost mastered it. We’re very happy to have acquired these new skills. We’re told they will get us revenue out of these dolls,” Geeta said.

Members of the 1 Million Heroes are visiting relief camps and training interested persons in crocheting amigurumi dolls by providing them with know-how, detailed templates, tools and raw materials. 

Their target is to train groups of individuals in five relief camps and each camp specialises in each of the five characters, conceived as the first line of the global amigurumi doll brand. The characters include – Buddy – the pet Dog, Mitten – the Cat, Raja – the Tiger, Oliver – the Bear and Bola – the Buddy.

Doll artist and master trainer, Utpala Longjam said the programme is going on well. 

“Crochet is not very difficult if you know the basics. Most of them knew the basics. All we had to do was teach them the pattern and the right way to go about it. They’re picking it up fast. Once they become comfortable with the needle, the crochet and the patterns, we would be providing them with the cotton yarns for the actual product,” Utpala said.

Monish Karam, the founder of 1 Million Heroes, explained how this project germinated. “I was living in Singapore when the violence broke out in May. We wanted to do something for the people back home to help rebuild their lives. We wanted to do something very sustainable. So, the best idea we could come up with was to do something where we can use our own skill and that is technology,” Karam said. 

“We realised that we can create something creative. Then the idea of dolls came up. Crochet dolls are not mere dolls. We believe they are the symbol of hope and vessels of storytelling,” Karam added.

Manipur Commissioner of Trade, Commerce and Industries, PK Jha assured that Manipur Handloom and Handicraft Corporation would buy all products made in the relief camps and make payments instantly.

GUWAHATI: People displaced by the ethnic violence in Manipur are taking lessons on the art of crocheting amigurumi dolls for sustainable livelihood.

Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures.

The ‘1 Million Heroes’, a global, multi-platform entertainment brand dedicated to inspiring and instil confidence in a generation of children around the world, came up with this idea for sustainable livelihood for Manipur’s internally displaced persons, who are leading a cluttered existence in makeshift relief camps. googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-8052921-2’); });

The team of 1 Million Heroes is training them in crocheting amigurumi dolls for global marketing. The training is being imparted to inmates, mostly women, in five relief camps.

Laishram Geeta Leima (36) is one of the 210 inmates of the Khangabok relief camp in Thoubal district. She is pinning her hope on crocheting for the short-term livelihood of her family in these troubled times. 

Her village in Sugnu Awang Leikai in Kakching district was attacked by armed miscreants on May 27. She is now optimistic about earning a living as the art of crocheting amigurumi dolls is easy to master and productive as well.

“We have no means of livelihood. During these dark times, the 1 Million Heroes team came to train us to crochet amigurumi dolls. I’ve almost mastered it. We’re very happy to have acquired these new skills. We’re told they will get us revenue out of these dolls,” Geeta said.

Members of the 1 Million Heroes are visiting relief camps and training interested persons in crocheting amigurumi dolls by providing them with know-how, detailed templates, tools and raw materials. 

Their target is to train groups of individuals in five relief camps and each camp specialises in each of the five characters, conceived as the first line of the global amigurumi doll brand. The characters include – Buddy – the pet Dog, Mitten – the Cat, Raja – the Tiger, Oliver – the Bear and Bola – the Buddy.

Doll artist and master trainer, Utpala Longjam said the programme is going on well. 

“Crochet is not very difficult if you know the basics. Most of them knew the basics. All we had to do was teach them the pattern and the right way to go about it. They’re picking it up fast. Once they become comfortable with the needle, the crochet and the patterns, we would be providing them with the cotton yarns for the actual product,” Utpala said.

Monish Karam, the founder of 1 Million Heroes, explained how this project germinated. “I was living in Singapore when the violence broke out in May. We wanted to do something for the people back home to help rebuild their lives. We wanted to do something very sustainable. So, the best idea we could come up with was to do something where we can use our own skill and that is technology,” Karam said. 

“We realised that we can create something creative. Then the idea of dolls came up. Crochet dolls are not mere dolls. We believe they are the symbol of hope and vessels of storytelling,” Karam added.

Manipur Commissioner of Trade, Commerce and Industries, PK Jha assured that Manipur Handloom and Handicraft Corporation would buy all products made in the relief camps and make payments instantly.

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