In Kerala, a southern state of India, an elderly couple has found a unique way to use coconut shells to create various handicrafts. Mr. Velayudhan, aged 73, and his wife, Mrs. Parvathy, aged 65, have been making beautiful toys, utensils, and handicrafts from coconut shells for more than 50 years.
The couple’s story began when they were young and living in their ancestral home in Alappuzha, a district in Kerala. They used to watch their family members and neighbors create beautiful objects out of coconut shells. Inspired by their skills, Mr. Velayudhan and Mrs. Parvathy started experimenting with coconut shells. Initially, they faced several challenges, as they needed the necessary tools to carve the shells. However, they persevered and soon developed their techniques. They started by cutting the shells into various shapes and sizes and then using knives and sandpaper to smooth the edges. They used different colors and materials to decorate the shells, such as paint, beads, and sequins.
Over the years, the couple has expanded their repertoire of crafts, creating various objects such as jewelry boxes, pen stands, lamps, and even models of traditional boats. They also make toys for children, including cars, bikes, and animals. Their crafts are made entirely by hand, with no machinery involved. One of the unique aspects of their work is that they use every part of the coconut shell, including the husk and the fiber. They make bowls and spoons from the husk, while the fiber is used to create small brushes and brooms. Despite their advanced age, Mr. Velayudhan and Mrs. Parvathy continue to work diligently on their crafts, often working late into the night. They sell their creations in local markets and exhibitions and have become well-known in their community for their skill and creativity. Their work has been noticed in their community, too. In 2019, they were invited to display their crafts at the National Handicrafts Fair in New Delhi, where visitors and other exhibitors received a lot of attention and appreciation.
Mr. Velayudhan and Mrs. Parvathy’s dedication and talent inspire many. They have created beautiful objects out of an unlikely material and found a way to make a living doing what they love. Their story is a testament to the power of creativity, perseverance, and hard work.
Their work is also an example of the importance of preserving traditional handicrafts. Coconut shell handicrafts have been a part of Kerala’s culture for generations, and it is heartening to see that Mr. Velayudhan and Mrs. Parvathy are keeping this tradition alive. Their work is a reminder that there is value in preserving cultural heritage and that traditional crafts can still find a place in the modern world.
In addition to their crafts, Mr. Velayudhan and Mrs. Parvathy are also involved in social work. They have used their earnings from their craft sales to support various charitable initiatives in their community, such as providing free meals to the needy and sponsoring the education of underprivileged children.
In conclusion, Mr. Velayudhan and Mrs. Parvathy’s story is a heartwarming tale of creativity, hard work, and dedication. Their beautiful crafts made from coconut shells are a testament to their skill and perseverance, and their commitment to preserving traditional handicrafts inspires us all.