Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], October 18 (ANI): With Puja Committees deciding not to organise Ravana Dahana, which takes place on Dussehra, this year, the local artisans are forced to suffer due to the dip in demand for the effigies.
The livelihoods of several artisans are dependent on this tradition since decades and they also used to earn a major share of their revenues during this period, which they were then using to look after their families throughout the year.
Prakash Bhoi, an artisan residing in Old Town, Bhubaneswar is one such artisan whose livelihood has received a jolt.
"I make Ravana effigies, earlier I used to get 10 orders per year but this time no orders came owing to coronavirus pandemic. Earlier, I used to get Rs 1.5- 2 lakhs which went in to feeding my family for the year," Prakash Bhoi told ANI here.
The artisan further said that he also makes small earthern statues which he would have to depend on for his survival with the Ravana Dahana not taking place this year.
Meanwhile, Reena Bhoi, Prakash's wife added that they had received a double jolt this year, first from the coronavirus pandemic and secondly that of the cyclone Fani.
"You can say it was due to Ravana that we were able to cook food. Yearly we would make over 10 idols and manage our house hold expenses of entire year. Due to cyclone Fani we lost our house and everything else. We are managing only because the government is giving us rice and pulses. During these seven months we were sitting idle, there is no demand for statues or Ravana effigies," she said.
Reena further informed that her husband has a problem in his legs and he won't be able to do any other work outside, therefore, she had to resort to seeking work herself this year. (ANI)