In the wake of the devastating 2004 Tsunami, Pondicherry-based designer, Uma Prajapati, while working with children affected by the natural disaster, conceived of the project, Tsunamika. The initial aim of the project was to help fisherwomen traumatised by the calamity, get over it by getting them involved in some creative handicraft work. At that point, Prajapati remembered the simple doll that a young intern, Prema Viswanathan, had fashioned from scraps of textile and waste material during her stint at Upasana, the textile design studio founded by Prajapati, a few years back. The doll was named Tsunamika and brought hope to millions of people during the aftermath of the Tsunami in 2004.
Tsunamika project received UNESCO’s recognition and Tsunamika’s story book was published in 7 languages, English, German, Russian, Danish, French, Tamil and Spanish. Tsunamika is the only project post tsunami that is still active. When CNN was looking for a story of hope post Tsunami, they picked the story of Tsunamika. In Tamil Nadu, State School Board has included the story in the school curriculum. The project also became a case study in the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), New Delhi, for Design and Social Responsibility.
Uma Prajapati received an award of excellence from the then President of India. It was a source of great pride for Tsunamika Team when a theatre group from Finland, ISIS Teatteri did theatre shows on Tsunamika in Finland and also in India.
After the astounding success of the doll in helping people, Prajapati now embarks on a new journey fighting for the health of our oceans by addressing marine pollution through two graphic novellas.
You can check out the graphic novella, Tsunamika, Ocean My Home here.
You can check out Tsunamika Meets Friends here.
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