Abu Dhabi: A group of spirited young women in the UAE have knitted and crotched a total of 517 pairs of beast prostheses for breast cancer survivors in India.
Handmade with love, the items are distributed free of cost to survivors who have undergone mastectomies or other procedures in India to treat their cancer.
The latest despatch of prostheses is headed to India with Geetha Krishnan, a support group member of the group, Saaisha India.
“At Saaisha, we craft these knockers and give them to survivors. We purchase the yarn, we knit the knockers and hope it will give hope and strength,” Krishnan, 49, a special educator, told Gulf News.
Each knocker, made of locally available cotton yarn, takes about four hours to craft. Worn under regular undergarments, they are comfortable, and provide the look and feel of regular breasts.
The patterns are specified by Knitted Knockers of USA, which first developed the concept of the cotton breast prostheses. This was then taken up by Saaisha India, a registered charitable trust since April 2018.
“Many of the ladies who lend their time and effort to us learnt crocheting from scratch. We are enthused and encouraged by the response of our beneficiaries, and are in the process of scaling up in terms of operations, identifying beneficiaries and adding to our volunteer base,” said Akhila Devi, 44, a freelance trainer who works with the group.
The knockers crafted by Saaisha’s UAE-based volunteers have so far been given to 1,000 beneficiaries, either through hospitals in Chennai, Mumbai, Coimbatore and other cities, or via individual contact.
“I had never myself been familiar with crafts like crocheting. But the cause called out to me, and I learnt how to crochet in two months. I personally do not know any survivors, but I hope our efforts will aid those who have fought breast cancer,” Devi said.