Novelty paper baskets rake hard cash

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By Jimmy Leivon

IMPHAL, December 20: A creative mind can transform even the simplest thing into works of wonders and this is what Guichamdin Maringmei of Guigailong, Tamenglong district, has come up with.

Guichamdin weaved unique baskets and other decorative items unlike the ones we get to see everyday around us, not made out of bamboo or other materials commonly used in this craft.

Believe it or not he weaved fancy baskets and other items using just glossy papers of magazines and journals.

At a glance it seems that his glittering works are made out of plastic fibres or other fancy materials. But looks can be deceiving many times. It would not be an exaggeration to say that one cannot simply resist to just walk-past his exhibits after knowing what it is made of.

Moreover, the level of his creativity is aptly reflected on his works with these products are not limited by stereotyping. It comes in different colours, shapes, sizes and patterns.

Many people are attracted to his work and his creations are in high demand everywhere he exhibits them. Sadly, he cannot meet his customers’ demand due to time constraint. Guichamdin is a postman by day and a craftsman by night, with two children and a wife.

Talking to IFP, Guichamdin Maringmei, revealed that he can only spare his time at night and able to weave a single basket in one single night.

He explained that it is not the weaving that takes time but rolling the paper into threads adding that he is being helped by his two kids and wife.

When asked what prompted him to continue such time consuming task, Guichamdin responded that he needed extra income to make ends meet. “My insignificant salary alone cannot support my family”, added Guichamdin.

He informed that he came up with the unique idea after coming across an exhibition in some of the north-eastern states like Meghalaya, Assam etc. wherein similar technique was used in making decorative items.

He revealed that after carefully watching others, he decided to apply the same method in weaving.

Guichamdin acquired his weaving skill from handicraft trainings conducted by the government few years back in the district.

The prices of his works started from Rs 100 to 300 at maximum and included shopping baskets, flowers vases and other decorative items as per the choice of the customers.

Although his works is in high demand Guichamdin, explained that apart from time constraint due to his job (post man) he had to undergo many other obstacles.

He divulged that even if he is able to increase his productivity rate with the support from his family market remains a big setback with no permanent place to sell his items. The only place he could hit the jack pot are like exhibition or fair. During the recently concluded Orange Festival all his products were sold out.    

Another problem is finding enough raw materials, he divulged adding that he had to run from post to post in search of magazines and journals.

So next time if you are planning to sell off or dispose of your old magazines or journals think again that with a little innovative touch you can make wonders.

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