World Doll Day 2024: Delhi University, IIT Delhi students sew the love lost for dolls - Hindustan Times
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World Doll Day 2024: Delhi University, IIT Delhi students sew the love lost for dolls

ByKriti Kambiri
Jun 08, 2024 03:20 PM IST

On World Doll Day (June 8), take a look at how the love for dolls is being revived by Delhi's college students for healing, supporting puppetry and empowerment.

For some, dolls are a nostalgic escape from childhood, but for college students in Delhi, dolls symbolise healing, empowerment and the revival of traditional crafts. On World Doll Day, today, here’s how they are bringing back the love for dolls.

From creating handmade dolls to supporting storytelling traditions with doll heads and puppets, students of Delhi University and IIT Delhi are bringing back their love for dolls.
From creating handmade dolls to supporting storytelling traditions with doll heads and puppets, students of Delhi University and IIT Delhi are bringing back their love for dolls.

Crochet craze: Healing with hook and yarn

Think Captain America and Superman crocheted to cuteness! That’s how Medhini, an entrepreneurial venture by Kinjal Bansal from Delhi University's Kamala Nehru College captures hearts. She has turned her love for crochet into a business. “My friends and I all enjoyed crochet, so starting a side hustle with crochet dolls felt natural,” says Bansal, a second-year BSc (Hons) Zoology student. “Recently, someone from North-East India ordered customised dolls resembling her family. Such acts of love help heal our inner child and improve mental health.”

Crocheted dolls representing Captain America (left) and a North-Eastern family (right) by DU students Kinjal Bansal, Bhumika Garg and Sanya Chauhan.
Crocheted dolls representing Captain America (left) and a North-Eastern family (right) by DU students Kinjal Bansal, Bhumika Garg and Sanya Chauhan.

Threading traditions: Puppetry finds new life

“The stories of kings and queens should not just entertain but also promote balanced lives,” says Swayam Rajgaria, president of the Enactus wing at Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC). This group collaborates with city artisans to revive puppetry and traditional dolls. “Our work focuses on showing artisans that puppetry is not outdated. We facilitate their shows, volunteer during performances, and cheer them on. We’re a group of seven students who spend our free time nurturing our love for these nostalgic dolls.”

One of the artisans based out of Shadipur, whose work is facilitated and supported by students of SRCC.
One of the artisans based out of Shadipur, whose work is facilitated and supported by students of SRCC.

Scrap to fab: Sustainable dolls for all

Design students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi are making doll dreams come true for children from all walks of life. “We’ve teamed up with IIT’s NSS wing to repurpose leftover cardboard and scrap fabric into dolls,” shares Daksh Kumbhat, a second-year Bachelors of Design student, adding, “Fashion waste and its ecological impact are significant concerns. This project promotes sustainability and empowerment. While we provide raw materials, NSS members train underprivileged women to sew and stitch these materials into dolls sold at local markets. This initiative merges sustainability with socio-economic upliftment.”

 

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