Abdu Ikka — The toymaker of Wayanad3 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
Coming back home with a new toy is an exciting feeling, isn’t it? But have we ever paused to think about who made it?
Here’s the story of a toymaker.
Meet Abdu CK, affectionately called Abdu Ikka (elder brother in Malayalam), an 80 year old toymaker from Wayanad, Kerala. He makes handmade wooden toys with moveable parts.
He is passionate about making toys from discarded material and wood! He left school at the age of 7 and worked as a daily wage labourer. At 40, he met with an accident and so, he was met with a difficult decision — how was he going to provide for his family?
He found the answer to that question from memories of his childhood.
“As a child, we used to make our own toys from whatever we had at home.Source: The Hindu
I tried recollecting some of those to make my first few toys.”
Abdu found his true calling when a two-year-old stopped crying while playing with one of his creations. A self-taught toymaker, Abdu Ikka can take a discarded ball-shaped plastic ice-cream container and make a flower that moves around an axis out of it.
Abdu is persistent in his art and spent upto 2 weeks understanding the process of creating a tipper truck that can load and unload a cargo. The success of this effort led to a new collection.
Now, he has an impressive collection ranging from helicopters to buses, revolving flowers to cargo tippers.
Abdu has a small workshop at his home where he creates these marvels. His wife, Nafeesa, helps with polishing the wood which is later decorated with paintings of flowers and animals. Abdu generally sells his toys in Pulpally, Kaniyambetta, and Mananthavady but with the help of social media, his reach is widening. His toys are priced anywhere between INR 150 and INR 675.
So, what does Abdu Ikka’s story tell us? Before you decide to discard anything at home, look at what else you can make with it! Who knows what treasures you can make from trash. For ideas, give this talk a listen.
Photos: The Hindu