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The Daily Rhino
Wednesday, February 15, 2006

THIS is a poorly-lit shitty phone pic of a tsunamika doll (and my hand):

This particular one doubles as a paper clip or bookmark, like this:

Others are hairclips, badges and stationery accessories. Here is a better pic:

Tsunamika is a project spear-headed by the Upasana Design Studio in Auroville, the south Indian township created by Sri Aurobindo (who went to my school, hurrah!) and The Mother. These little dolls, made from the studio's left-over fabric by tsunami-survivors, have given fisherwomen near Pondicherry an opportunity to empower themselves over the last year or so.

Of course money raised goes to the fisherwomen, but the project has provided a trauma counselling service and the opportunity to put the tsunami in the past through creativity and group activities. One million dolls have made their way around the world - with no price tag. Oddly enough, the distributors ask for no money. Not in the way that museums ask for a 'voluntary contribution', but the dolls are geuinely free. As far as I understand, the way money is made is by organisations paying the group for buying the dolls in bulk, to subsequently distribute, gratis.

Read more at the official website.

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they're "free" with a donation of 2 Euros apiece. Which is nothing, compared to what shipping alone would cost...

I know how kanjus you are, so this might be a major dealbreaker ;)
Of course people donate money - but when they give these out they genuinely don't seem to expect any money in exchange. Those involved say their sole objective is to get as many out there as possible. Kind of like Live8 - the point isn't raising money. Hopefully people gave generously anywaysezes.
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