Tying up with Todas to keep the virus at bay 

#GS1 #Culture 

Traditional tribal artisans from the Nilgiris are producing masks with exquisite embroidery 

  • As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to sweep across the country, a small corner of India has come forward to use its traditional skills to help people ward off the infection. 
  • More than a hundred women and indigenous Toda artisans from the Nilgiris are producing thousands of stylish, embroidered masks for local residents, police, and sanitary workers. 
  • The cloth masks, are embroidered with intricate Toda designs, and sold for around ₹225 each.  
  • The masks are produced by Indian Yards in Coonoor and Shalom Ooty, who are partnering with Last Forest.  
  • While Indian Yards has been empowering more than 50 local women by training them on how to stitch articles of clothing. 
  • A Toda artisan, who embroiders the motifs on masks, said she gets anywhere between ₹50-100 for each single piece she produces, and added that because of demand for the masks, she has found work despite the lockdown. 
  • As there are no tourists coming into the district, there is no demand at all for Toda embroidered quilts, shawls or other clothes.  
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