The initiative combines compassion with creativity.

CoVeed Kerala womans campaign to build mini paper homes and contribute to relief
Coronavirus Human Interest Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 16:17

The lockdown has left several underprivileged people in the lurch, fending for even basic necessities. One organisation in Kerala has come up with a novel initiative encouraging people to participate in donating to the needy, combining compassion with creativity.

Pure Living Foundation has started an initiative called ‘CoVeed’, which invites people to make miniature homes out of paper and cardboard, in which they can put a handful of pulses. Every day, people can make different models of houses, and put in a handful or pulses or grains into it. When the lockdown is lifted, these grains and pulses will be given to the needy, along with the miniature homes.

According to Lakshmi Menon, founder of Pure Living, the idea behind CoVeed is coexistence, co-sharing and cooperation.

Pure Living Foundation, had earlier gained popularity across the world through their Chekutty dolls. Made from cotton sarees, selling the dolls was an attempt to help the Chendamangalam handloom industry after they faced a setback in Kerala floods.

Lakshmi says that apart from encouraging people to make miniature homes and store pulses in it, they have come up with another initiative to contribute to more immediate relief. "Whoever takes part in the campaign can send us a picture of their CoVeed house, and we will contribute Rs 10 for each picture daily to the community kitchens in the state. It is calculated that Rs 20 is the cost to feed two people in community kitchen so one picture can feed one person.”

“Throughout the lockdown, one can make different models of the houses and send us photos, so our contribution can also increase," she adds. The procedure to make the model homes can be found on coveed.in.

One can make houses in several themes – the miniatures around the theme of doctors can be painted white, with a stethoscope; policeman themed models have khaki coloured paint and with a model cap on top of it, and so on. Whoever joins the campaign can make the model houses with available resources.

"Apart from this being a leisure craft that people can do during the lockdown, they will also be saving a portion of their resources for those who cannot afford them. The joy from such a project is twofold," Lakshmi points out.

Initially it was mostly children who were taking part in the campaign. "Now, however, a volunteer group of IT employees from Infopark called ‘Progressive Techies’ has also joined the campaign. Some of them haven't worked on their creativity in crafts for years, they say," Lakshmi adds.

Lakshmi herself has already made 21 miniature houses which include green gram, Bengal gram, vermicelli, puffed rice, oats, beaten rice, tea leaves and many more provisions.

"Many are working hard outside to make sure we are safe. This could also be an expression of gratitude – one could present them with these model homes filled with sweets or gifts to such essential workers," she says.

She adds that this project can also help one contribute to those in need without stepping out of their homes.

"I was feeling really guilty that many, including health workers and other essential service providers are working outside and I am not able to do anything. So CoVeed was initiated as a project of compassion in these dark times," Lakshmi says.

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