This year, Dusshera the festival marking the triumph of divine powers, has failed to bring smiles to the faces of craftsmen in West Delhi's Tatarpur village, which is considered the largest market of the kind in Asia for Ravana effigies.
Covid-19 has been a dampener due to a drop in the demand for the effigies, in the village, which has seen customers not only from Delhi but other states too and sometimes customers from overseas too.
Amit Kumar Sahrsar, 32, who has been engaged in making tall effigies of Ravanas, told that every year, they received demands of 50 to 60 effigies which has now dropped to 10-12.
"My parents and grandparents were also effigy makers. I have been making effigies since my childhood. I enjoy this work," he said.
However, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought sorrow to his family as demand is too less.
Earlier, artisans from various parts of the country started coming here after Rakhi, stay with is us to make effigies. This year only two labourers have joined us to craft the figurines.
Raman Kumar, an artist, who belongs to a village near Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh told that due to less work and the coronavirus, no workers have shown any interest in coming to Tatarpur village to participate in the crafting of Ravanas.
"Earlier, we come in groups, stay here and make effigies. It was really the best time of our life." Raman Kumar said.
Artist Mamta Sahrsar and Amit Kumar Sharsar also expressed unhappiness due to drop in demand of Ravanas.
They told that besides Ravanas, the artists engaged themselves in making various other crafts as per the requirement of various festivals and ceremonies including marriage. They also said other works also remained affected due to the slowdown of the economy and they are facing a hard time meeting their daily requirements.
( With inputs from ANI )
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