Started by Adavi Srinivas last year, Adilakshmi Toys supplies wooden, paper mash and cloth related dolls.
“Since childhood I had the love for our traditions, especially bommala koluvu. When we wanted to purchase, the dolls were priced high and I also saw many of them buying cheaper plastic dolls. To put an end to plastic and imported dolls, I thought of starting this business and I started this on my mother’s name,” says Srinivas, who gets the dolls directly from the artisans.
In the Telugu States, these dolls are manufactured only in four places. These are Kondapalli and Etikoppaka in Andhra Pradesh, and Bonthapally and Nirmal in Telangana.
“Each region reflects its own traditions and culture. Most of the dolls reflect the culture and traditions of rural life. We have nearly 300 varieties of dolls,” he says.
Adilakshmi Toys are also into customized making. “Recently, a lady from the US wanted a Ramayana set and she briefed us how she wanted it. We narrated the same thing to the artisan and he did that perfectly. When she saw that, she was overwhelmed to see such lovely art,” says Srinivas, adding that the customer was so happy that she gifted an additional Rs.1,000 to the artisan.
The handmade dolls start at a reasonable price of Rs.15, but the amount of work involved in that is much more.
“If suddenly when the artisan is carving the doll and a small piece of wood goes into his eyes, there are chances that the sharp piece might leave him blind for the rest of his life,” says Srinivas, who is helping the artisan in his best way to continue the art by marketing them on social media as well.