In the midst of turmoil caused by ongoing violence in Manipur, '1 million Heros,' a global entertainment brand, has initiated a project to empower internally displaced persons in the state's relief camps. The initiative involves training camp inmates, primarily women, in crafting amigurumi dolls for global marketing, offering them a path to sustainable livelihood.
The violence in Manipur has resulted in significant casualties, including over 175 deaths, 1,108 injuries, and the destruction of 4,786 homes. To address the economic and psychological challenges faced by displaced individuals, '1 million Heros' is providing training in amigurumi doll-making across five relief camps in Manipur.
Laishram Geeta Leima, a 36-year-old mother of three and a resident of Sugnu Awang Leikai in Kakching district, is among those being trained. She fled her village when it was attacked by armed miscreants on May 27. Geeta sees hope in crochet, finding it easy to master, satisfying, and productive.
The training program began in August, with the goal of teaching individuals in the relief camps to create amigurumi dolls representing five characters: Buddy (the pet Dog), Mitten (the Cat), Raja (the Tiger), Oliver (the Bear), and Bola (the Buddy). Doll Artist and master trainer, Utpala Longjam, stated that participants are quickly grasping the art of crochet.
Aside from offering a source of income, doll-making serves as a therapeutic outlet for those who have experienced violence. By diverting their memories towards crafting dolls, individuals find renewed self-confidence and hope.
Monish Karam, the founder of '1 million Heroes,' explained that the project aims to provide a sustainable means of income while also fostering storytelling through dolls.
The entire production process, including design, market research, raw material supply, branding, marketing, and sales, is managed by '1 million Heroes.' The trainees are responsible for creating the dolls, and most of the proceeds from sales will go to them.
The project also includes an augmented reality app that allows purchasers to interact with the dolls in 3D. It provides an opportunity to share life lessons, express gratitude for adopting a doll, and support the livelihoods of displaced persons.
In addition to '1 million Heroes,' other private enterprises and government agencies have stepped in to assist internally displaced persons. The Manipur State Rural Livelihoods Mission (MSRLM) has organized various livelihood training programs in relief camps, offering opportunities for easy cash through short-term activities.
The Manipur Handloom and Handicraft Corporation has pledged to purchase all products made in the relief camps and immediately compensate the inmates. After covering the cost of raw materials, the sale proceeds will benefit the creators of the products.
This collaborative effort is not only providing economic relief but also helping restore hope and resilience among those affected by the violence in Manipur.
Copyright©2023 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today