Tying up with Todas to keep the virus at bay
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.