Ravan effigy makers business adversely hit amid COVID-19

ANI
·2-min read
Dussehra festivities will be low-key due to COVID-19 protocols this year. (Photo/ANI)
Dussehra festivities will be low-key due to COVID-19 protocols this year. (Photo/ANI)

Rampur (Uttar Pradesh) [India], October 23 (ANI): Artists involved in making Ravan effigies are bearing the brunt of adverse economic conditions amid COVID-hit low key celebrations for the upcoming festival of Dussehra.

M Khan, also known as Raju Bhai of Rampur, has been making 60 to 70 effigies of Ravan every year for the last three decades. But this time, he ended up making merely three effigies due to curtailed celebrations amid the pandemic.

With a late easing of restrictions on holding of Ramlila, Raju and other artists got very little time to prepare the effigies.

"Three generations of our family have been in the business of making Ravan effigies. I have been working for Ramlilas conducted in Uttar Pradesh while my brother has been procuring orders for Ramlilas in Uttarakhand. This year I was forced to pull rickshaw due to lack of orders" Raju told ANI.

"This year, for the most part, we had no orders but suddenly after the government allowed Ramlilas, we received orders in plenty but with no time in hand. Even we wanted to do business but right now it's not possible because it takes a lot of time to dry an effigy and put fireworks in it and now there is no time for Dussehra, so I could make only two-three," he added.

There was confusion amid effigy makers regarding government guidelines which left them unprepared for any last-minute orders for the Ramlila.

Raju said that he starts working on these effigies several months before Vijay Dashmi so that orders can be delivered on time. However, this year preorders were reduced drastically due to the pandemic.

The 10th day of Sharad Navratri is celebrated as Dussehra or Vijay Dashami. It is celebrated with great joy and fervour across India by burning the effigies of Ravan in open fields to symbolise the victory of 'good' over 'evil'. (ANI)