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Seema Awasthi_Bringing dolls to life

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Who doesn't remember playing with the dolls in the make believe world? When dressing our doll was a favourite pastime and sharing our secerets with them was the easiest thing to do. Every little girl and sometime boys too are always presented with dolls and in a way, this is a cultural way of teaching our children the nurturing and caring that we would require as an adult to look after our children. Some blessed people never stop playing with dolls and Seema Awasthi is one of them.

Meet Seema, the founder of 'Hand Made Toys'. A graduate in Crafts and Designing, she worked as a graphic designer in IT companies. However, she met her life calling when she met her old friend Niraj Singh, a graduate in Sociology and a renowned journalist in the media industry.

As luck would have it, both shared a common passion, love for toys and their collaboration brings out the labour of love, 'Hand Made Toys'.

Seema is very clear with her vision and purpose. She opines, 'we believe that early childhood education is not just about learning how to read and write. But rather, its main purpose is the harmonious development of the individual child.

The 'Play' has an important role in learning and emotional development of all children. Although it is a fun experience for the child, it carries basic lessons of a lifetime for many kids. 'Play' helps children learn relationship building, social skills and also develops value and ethics. In a country like India, where we often witness diverse cultures and ethnicities existing simultaneously, empathylearning must begin at the early age. On that note our traditional toys can provide a tangible experience and opportunity for kids to build an understanding about the diverse cultures of India. Toys speak a lot about the cultural heritage of a place by depicting the rich history, mythology, legends, folklore and social lifestyles of the people residing there. A toy is the first step for a kid to experience real world learning.'

This exactly what they achieve from their beautiful hand painted toys. They have a small setup in Bangalore, where around 4-5 village (Muttanallur) women work along with us for developing these indigenous cultural attire dolls. They dress and paint each doll according to the style represented by the state. Despite the language barrier, curiosity and eagerness to innovate, the zeal of creativity has motivated them to break all barriers and create beautiful dolls.

They have developed a range of cultural and educational kits to make children aware of the diverse cultures of India. It is an amazing effort to prepare children for thriving in an ever-changing milieu of phenomenon that is India. 'Handmade Toys' inculcate pride and love for one's own culture, while maintaining curiosity, tolerance and acceptance towards those who are different from us. Their mission is to raise culturally aware kids and equip them with the attitudes and requisite skills for living together in social harmony with others, even amidst differences.

Every kit, comes with a doll along with a small booklet with concise information about that doll's cultural link in India. They have a beautiful collection of dolls. You can checkout their collection on;

https://www.facebook.com/www.handmadetoys.in/
https://seemaawasthiblog.wordpress.com/

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