1. Is Tsunamika a brand?
Tsunamika is not a brand, she is a living symbol, a conscious force with her own unique personality and mission. The doll was around a couple of years even before Tsunami, but only when the Tsunami brought death and destruction on Dec 26th 2004 did she became Tsunamika. She was not born out of any conventional design process, it happened spontaneously and naturally.
2. What is the mission of Tsunamika?
Healing and transforming human consciousness.
3. How do you market Tsunamika?
Tsunamika is given unconditionally to whoever wants her. She has no price tag. Unconditional self-giving is one her characteristics and the distribution network is made of volunteers in different countries who unconditionally give their service. She is travelling all over the world through a network of love and friendship. There is no advertisement or salaries involved.
4. How do you finance this project?
The project is entirely run by the donations we receive.
The first phase of the project – Handicraft Training to the fisherwomen – was funded by Concern Worldwide. With an investment of Rs.4,00,000/ - (US $ 8,000), training modules were developed and nearly 480 ladies from 7 villages were trained over a period of three months.
The second phase of the project – Production and distribution of Tsunamika – was also funded by Concern Worldwide for one year. Since 2006 the project is run by donations.
5. Where does the money go when donations are given to the project?
The money goes into production and distribution of Tsunamika. The issue of surplus money is not yet there and we have not solved a problem that is not there. As far as the vision of how to spend the money is concerned, it will be spent in developing the consciousness of all the people involved, not only the people in the villages affected by Tsunami, but also the people who receive Tsunamika. We are exploring an integral method of economic development, sustainability, education, creativity and spiritual growth of society as a whole, not just one section of the society. People are on different stages of their growth, those who require financial support gets financial support, those who seek spiritual growth receives that from Tsunamika.
6. How much money do the fisherwomen earn?
At the beginning of the project, we asked the ladies how much they would like to earn and they said Rs 1000 (US $20) month working from home. In the context of the concerned villages, it is a significant amount. This money they earn when Upasana buy in bulk the Tsunamika's they make. Nearly 100 ladies are now earning this money; some of them earn up to Rs 3000/- (US $60) depending on their performance.
7. Why don't you donate the money directly to the village ladies? Why do you have to go through all the efforts of making the dolls?
Giving money to the ladies as a donation will be the easiest thing to do but it will not bring any growth of consciousness in them. On the other hand, it will erode their inner strength. When they earn money through work, there is dignity, pride and self-respect in them, they know the value of what they receive, they learn new skills; they learn to discipline and channelize their energies. These are the real but intangible assets they receive; money is only a means to bring this out.
8. Who conceived the project?
Uma Prajapati, who is the founder of Upasana conceived the project. It was not conceived as a whole, it was evolved over a period of time and it is still is evolving based on the dynamics of Tsunamika herself.
9. Who designed Tsunamika?
Prema Viswanathan who was a student intern in Upasana Design Studio in 2002. She was given the challenge of transforming the waste generated by garment production in Upasana. Prema came up with many versions of small dolls and the current form of Tsunamika was one of them which was refined and standardized over a period of time.
If you have any specific questions please contact us.