Isha Sahni, Gurgaon: Gone are the days when groups of children pooled money to buy stationary to build an
effigy of Ravana during Dussehra celebrations. This year ready-made effigies are available in the market in plenty.
Over 15 artists and their families from different pockets of Delhi-NCR are making effigies of the demon king, his brother and son, and selling them on roadside.
Dussehra, the festival that symbolises the victory of good over evil, will be celebrated on Tuesday when effigies of Ravana will be burnt.
“We set up our small workshop on the roadside around two weeks ago. Over 10 customers have already approached us looking for effigies five to eight-feet tall to celebrate the festival in their colonies or offices,” Jyoti Singh, a 30-year-old effigy maker from Saket, said.
Several of these artists have set up their temporary workshops near Government Girls College in Sector 14 on Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road. Mammoth effigies of Ravaan with thick moustache and a glittery crown are seen all along the stretch .
“The structure is made of bamboo and chart papers. We price them as per the height of the effigy. A five-feet effigy will cost about Rs.1,000. My family and I were the first ones to come here, but seeing the profit opportunities, a lot of people have set up their stalls,” Sunil Kumar, 37-year-old artist from Jharsa village in Sector 31, said.
The only work residents have to do is attach varieties of fire crackers at specific spots, he said.
Residents said the ready-made effigies save a lot of time and money. They said the structures available in the market are better compared to the ones they make.
“My son and his six friends spent over Rs. 4,000 last year to make an effigy, which turned out to be crooked. We are buying him a statue from one of the stalls this year. It is easier and less time consuming,” Sheena Singh of South City 1, said.
Several women said they had stopped going to see the burning of Ravaan at public places because of incidents of harassment. But with the ready-made effigies available, they said they can celebrate the festival in their own colonies, condominiums or offices.