Growing up, I remember playing with a cool jumping jack (a wooden handcrafted toy that “jumps” at its joints and has the kids laughing with delight) at my grandmother’s place. I also remember her lovely block printed linens and curtains. I knew where they were from, and at my recent visit to Mangalore, I decided to make time to go and check if they still made all that charming stuff!
When I visited the Rehabilitation Unit at the Fr.Mullers campus in Mangalore, I was delighted to learn that they still had some of their older designs, and a lot of new ones too! The unit exclusively employs cured leprosy patients and the physically handicapped. It trains and helps them to earn and lead a normal life; to give them full social acknowledgment in their families and communities. Since 1965, the unit has been producing charming and delightful hand made and hand crafted products.
Sr. Prabha who is in charge of the unit, was kind enough to show me around, and explain the products and techniques to me. The products include Batik work on wall hangings and greeting cards, decorated jute, cloth and gunny bags, block print (yes, block print!..and they are delightful pieces, my favorite in fact), hand printed silk shawls, accessories, lovely wooden toys for the kids and charming jumping jacks for your walls! The unit also does screen printing on handmade and recycled paper, makes beautiful files and folders, and a lot more! Block printing is more or less the forte of this unit,and they often get large orders from other local institutions and overseas customers for their products.
|Folders with block print designs on cloth|
|Folders with block print designs on recycled paper|
|These lovely block print aprons were being readied
in preparation for an export order
|Block printing on silk – the process and the end result.|
|Craftsmen at work (cutting out the design, and then painting
patterns on them) on the wood ‘memory’ games
|Pune will soon be plastic-free (hopefully) and with the
strict ban on plastic shopping bags, I picked up
lots of these pretty bags made from gunny sacks
for my friends in Pune
|These are the jumping jacks I was talking about. Just pull the
rope, and their legs and hands fly high – quite comical! I picked up the
man and the woman, couldn’t find the boy design
from my childhood 🙁
|Colorful wall organizers.|
|Sr. Prabha holding up a beautiful silk piece.|
|Close-up of a block-work table cloth|
|Another block-work piece|
|The alphabet jigsaw snake – my daughter spends
hours playing with this one!
Liked their work? Sr. Prabha has plans to sell their stuff online. In the meantime, if you are interested in contacting her for orders, she would love to receive an email from you. Write to her at
To know more about the Fr. Mullers Charitable Institutions, visit their website.
Sharon, these pieces are beautiful and the sentiments behind the unit, even more so. Thank you for sharing this with us.
the calendars are so pretty and love the jigsaw puzzle…what beautiful stuff and what a beautiful cause!
Loved the block prints and the jumping jacks too. I wanted some custom made block prints,will mail and check them. Nice post, Sharon
Super post, Sharon. And well-timed indeed 🙂 I'll try to visit tomorrow, fingers crossed.
Thanks for sharing!
@OrangeJammies – it was a pleasure! I enjoyed the 2 plus hours I spent there!
@purplehomes – yep, you should see their other toys too. We have a bag of their memory toys,and we actually spent the weekend playing! They also have a lovely domino one.
@Rekha The block prints are awesome. I could help with procuring them for you when I go to Mlore next!
@ ~j~ I had a short conversation with Sr. Prabha this morning, and mentioned you would be stopping by. She is expecting you!:)
Its a nice post and the pics and materials are excellent
Loved to read your post … i also like the bags … gess we ought to promote more of such beautiful products … really …really lovely 🙂
Was anyway going to visit an ailing aunt at Fr Muller's, so squeezed in some time today to visit the Unit too. And it was fantastic. I absolutely LOVED the jumpin' jacks – bought 8 of those for nieces/cousins, but I'm gonna keep the netaji and the lady for myself. They're sooo cute! Also, picked up the 2010 calendar – very pretty and purposeful. What else? Memory game for a cousin and an elephant hanging mobile for a friend who collects 'elephants'. I did tell them I came by because of your blog post. Unfortunately, Sr Prabha was busy elsewhere and I was in a rush. Going there again the next time I'm here. And will definitely spread the word for this good cause! Thanks Sharon 🙂
Thanks for posting this -I always visit & pick up items -the wall hangings & table linen is great.
I got a number of pencil cases & batik decorative pieces to give away as gifts when I visited the unit in December -it is a small contribution to a great cause.
Keep up the good work!
@Abhi, thanks for stopping by!
@Rajee, thank you:)
@~~j~~ I'm so glad you could make it. Thanks for the FB status message too, letting others know about this post. Appreciated:)
@Merlyn: Honored that one of my college professors stopped by TheKeybunch and left a comment. Thanks for the words of encouragement, m'am!:)
Thanks all, Sharon
So the fabric is hand printed? It looks fabulous, and it's for a great cause!
What a great resource!