The Birth of Tsunamika
Tsunamika who stands as a symbol of living hope today, was born in the aftermath of the 2004 Tsunami. She helped hundreds of fisher women who lost their livelihood to overcome the trauma of a sudden and violent act of nature.
It all started when Uma Prajapati, the brain behind Tsunamika, visited the coastal villages devastated by Tsunami, and she was moved to act. Tsunamika started with trauma counselling to fisher women in these villages. They were trained by Uma and her team to make little dolls out of cloth bits, and waste from clothing manufacturing. The dolls were named Tsunamika.
This activity helped the women in building back their lives, earn a living, and most importantly inspired them to never loose hope. The story of Tsunamika soon reached many people around the world. Many organizations, in order to help the coastal women, distributed them as gifts to their employees. Most notably, Tsunamika dolls were sent from India to Japan during the Tsunami in 2011 as a gesture of solidarity.
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 Honorable President of India. It was great pride for Tsunamika Team when Theatre group from Finland ISIS Teatteri did theatre shows on Tsunamika in Finland and also in India.
On her 10th birthday Tsunamika took a new avatar to rebuild and restrength the connection we have with our environment. On 10th January, 2015 Tsunamika collaborated with many artists, schools, volunteers, PONDYCAN , National Coastal Protection Campaign, and Government of Pondicherry, and became a symbol for the protection of the oceans and the coastline of India.
Today, Tsunamika dolls are distributed all over the world as a gift that reminds people of hope and human unity.Tsunamika dolls are never traded, they are only gifted. Over 6 million dolls have travelled to more than 80 countries. And wherever she travels, Tsunamika continues to spread the message of love, hope, and ocean protection.