Meet Sumathi, Nagalakshmi and Anojan. These three wonderful people have prevailed over many obstacles to stand proudly as the core team at Chennai-based social enterprise Serendip. Both Sumathi and Nagalakshmi came to India as refugees in 1990 whilst fleeing the civil war in Sri Lanka and for a time even lived in refugee camps in our state. Today, they are empowered artisans working full time making jewellery for Serendipboutique.
Young Anojan who works part-time with them also studies Economics at Loyola College and dreams of being an economist soon. Serendip offers a range of semi-precious bead necklaces, earrings and bangles made from agate, smoky topaz, garnet and pearls. Kundan, polki and embellished meenakari beads are also used for these versatile designs overseen by founder Poongkothai Chandrahasan.
All proceeds from the sales will help provide employment to hundreds of women from such marginalised communities. The inception of the Serendip boutique was nurtured by Sri-Lankan born Poongkothai and Dr. Amal Xavier Raj, a senior professor at Loyola College’s business program LIBA.
Poongkothai, also a documentary-maker and an activist, tells us “What is truly valuable about the role that Serendip plays in the lives of these marginalised women is that it creates opportunities for them to train other groups of marginalised women so that they too can create prototypes and sustainably handcraft lovely jewellery.”
She also tells us that over the next few months Serendip plans to participate in pop-ups across the country, in the USA and in Colombo. We wish the entire team much success and happiness for bringing to life Gandhiji’s famous maxim “Be the change you wish to see.”
For more information:http:// serendipboutique.com/Prices: Rs 1,000/- onwards.
At Samasta boutique, Kotturpuram this month.