Even though rising prices have taken a toll on markets everywhere, the local artisans of Delhi, creating Ravan effigies for Dusserha celebrations, are seemingly unaffected by it. Contrary to the opinions of many, they say the demand continues to increase.
According to a local artist Rakesh, who has been in this business over 5 years, he has increased production from 20 idols to 25 due to consumer demands. He supplies these effigies of Ravan all over the country and even abroad – from Mumbai and Bangalore to even Australia.
The pricing depends not only on the demand but also on the time of booking. “I have been buying from this place since childhood. We have booked earlier so we get a 25ft Ravan for Rs. 2500. Today they can demand anything,” says Harpreet Singh, a resident of Janakpuri, New Delhi. He also said that compared to the restricted celebrations in 2010, due to the commonwealth games, this year the demand has increased because the celebrations have become more localized.
Some artisans, like Amit, say the most expensive item is the bamboo, which is one of the main materials used for making these dolls. But given that they sell for prices ranging from 500 to 10,000, the cost is invariably covered. Amit, who started out in 2006, says creating such effigies for festivals is something he hopes to continue for time to come.
The efforts finally culminate to the effigies of Ravan, Megnath and Kumbhakaran standing tall in places like Ramlila Maidan, Peetampuri, Lal Quila and other public grounds all over the country.