Ten years ago, Chandran was working with a men's beauty parlour when he discovered an unusual hobby. Collecting the popsicle sticks, which his nieces threw away after having the ice-cream, led him to craft something out of that material.
Over time, he began to create shapes of birds, animals and houses with these pop sticks and presented these works of art to the children in his neighbourhood. “Being a physically challenged man, it was very difficult for me to complete the works since my right hand has only two fingers in action. My mother used to give me physiotherapy treatment regularly to keep me motivated and work with passion,” says Chandran.
Children flock to his house at Choolaimedu in the evenings to learn and try their hand at innovating such items with popsicle sticks. “All the fancy stores have toys and gift articles in plastic, I wanted to change that. I want the young generation to play with toys created of pop sticks. Avoiding plastic is my motto,” explains Chandran.
He also teaches a lot of children and school teachers learn from to tech their students in schools. These children come with their own packets of popsicle sticks and Chandran teaches them the craft without charging them any fee for it. Also, what makes Chandran's works more interesting is his ability to come up with many creative articles.
At his house, one finds models of multi-storey buildings, which include the LIC building on Anna Salai. The collection includes motorcycles and cars and cellphone holders.
“Initially, I presented these articles as gifts without charging any money for them. However, as I have spent on buying sticks, gums and other stationery, I began to sell them,” explains, Chandran, who is affected by polio. He also receives orders for pop-stick craft items during festive seasons.
“I spend close to five hours trying out new models. My long time wish is to enter the Limca Book of Records for making the highest number of curios from pop sticks,” concludes Chandran.