A  lazy Sunday and a chance  watch of  Manish Aroras tour to the former French colony of Pondicherry.I watched along with him the amazing streets of Pondicherry and then to Auroville.i have always had a love for Pondicherry,a place I always loved to visit and it  never happened .He discovers some for the interesting  designers in Pondicherry and I finally visit along with him Upasana and Uma and her artists village and then Tsunamika..Its a must that I should share with you all .

"Upasana" was born in 1997, originally with one table under a tree, as a garment design and manufacturing unit. An open space for creativity and design in all its forms. Being born within the unique context of Auroville, the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have been our inspiration at Upasana.Upasana means sitting near and this name has been coined to realize the sacred divine presence that permeates the Universe.“Upasana” is based on the rich tradition of Indian textile crafts. 






Inspired by the unique aesthetic heritage, Upasana have been working on bringing India to the modern world through its vibrant textile tradition. They have been fortunate to work on various fabrics from the simple and elegant to the exquisite, sourced from across the country. Their efforts have now culminated in the “Textile Archive” – a space for preserving, displaying and learning all about textiles and design.With Integral Design, they have also been consciously involved in various projects in design and more - trying to raise design to a level beyond the product and applying it to answer various problems of everyday life and social development.

Upasana has always exciting projects.They have two brands named Paruthi and Devayani.Paruthi is for the cotton textiles, from Organic cotton and Devayani is from the Varanasi Weavers.They also have a project named Tsunamika for the Tsunami hit and Small steps for the freedom from plastic bags.Tsunamika has so far been the most successful and fulfilling socially  responsible communication design intervention for Upasana.



The little Tsunamikas: mamma, sister and baby have touched millions of hearts offering a healing touch to those directly affected by the devastating Tsunami of 2004, and a balm to those who suffered the secondary trauma through the media; watching, reading and hearing about the calamity. Tsunamika brought a smile to her creators and to those who held her; transforming the bitter memories of the tsunami into something creative, innocent, simple, sweet and empowering.
The project started as a trauma counseling effort for the fisherwomen in February 2005. Like all other projects of Upasana, Tsunamika took to a life of joy. The raw material came from industrial waste and 500 women were taught to make the dolls. Consequently, 200 women took it up for their livelihood. Following a “Gift Economy” Tsunamikas have never been bought or sold. They are shared, unconditionally; they are gifts of love and friendship. The whole project runs on donations, whole-hearted outpourings as Upasana has experienced. 
Buy Upasana products and be a part of them and visit whenever you go to Pondicherry.









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All images courtesy:Upasana Integral Designs,www.tsunami.org
 
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