Tsunamika doll is a cute little doll made of discarded textile material, conceptualized by Upasana (Auroville). It is being made mostly by the victims of the 2004 Tsunami, near Pondicherry. The doll cannot be bought or sold by anyone, it can only be gifted to others.
I attended a presentation by Uma Prajapati of Upasana who conceptualized this idea, and has been executing it successfully. It seems Tsunamika doll has traveled to 120 countries and touched more than 5,00,000 lives.
Anyone can request Tsunamika dolls and the organization will send it to you, if they have as many. Donations have been sustaining this project for more than ten years, and if people continue to be large-hearted, perhaps it will continue for many more years!
Basically, the doll is made using rag/left-over cloth material and made by women in Tsunami affected regions. These women are paid for their effort, and the effort has been sustained by donations all this while.
So if you are going to an orphanage to celebrate your kid’s birthday, instead of buying plastic dolls for the kids there, you can request Tsunamika dolls and make a contribution to the project, if you wish. This will help people affected by the Tsunami, keep this project going, and reduce unwanted plastic waste.
While Tsunamika dolls themselves cannot be bought, one can buy other items like pencils, clothes, bands, etc. embedded with Tsunamika dolls. Hop over here to have a look at the Tsunamika merchandise.
Project Website: Tsunamika.org.