The noble rakshasa: Udupi social worker Ravi Katapady turns into ‘demon’ to help needy children this Ashtami

He has been wearing different costume every year and donating the funds collected to children in need

Updated - August 20, 2022 04:35 pm IST

Published - August 20, 2022 01:15 pm IST - MANGALURU

Social worker Ravi Katapady dons the costume of a demon this Krishna Janmashtami to help needy children through funds collected in Udupi on August 19, 2022.

Social worker Ravi Katapady dons the costume of a demon this Krishna Janmashtami to help needy children through funds collected in Udupi on August 19, 2022. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Social worker Ravi Katapady, who has been wearing different costumes (vesha) during Sri Krishna Janmashtami and donating the proceeds of his collection to the needy, became a ‘demon’ this Ashtami at Udupi to enthrall people.

It has been a culture in this part of coastal Karnataka for enthusiastic people to wear different costumes, particularly of mythological characters, during festivals starting from Ashtami and going on till Deepavali. They visit shops in business areas and houses in residential areas to collect donations.

Mr. Katapady has been donating the proceeds for social causes since seven years. So far, he and his team have donated over ₹89.75 lakh to the needy.

Friendly ‘demon’

To transform himself into a demon with the help of Smart Arts firm of Udupi this year, Mr. Katapady spent nearly ₹2 lakh on the costume. Preparations for the costume started nearly two months ago and some of the parts were even imported from the US. Two expert workers arrived from Hyderabad to work on rubber parts. The costume was designed so as to not affect the skin, they said.

Mr. Katapady said though he hailed from a poor background, he was capable of making a living by hard work. Wearing special costumes with his skills, he would be happy to donate the money generated to the needy. It was not just his effort that has gone behind the special costumes, but of his team too, he said.

Artists from Mangaluru, Katapady and Udupi were involved in designing this year’s costume, he said. While 66 children were given a helping hand in earlier years, Mr. Katapady intends to raise over ₹10 lakh this year to help the treatment of six children in the region.

Donations for children with medical conditions

His friend Mahesh Shenoy Katapady said parents of three children have already sought financial assistance from the team. Of them, one child from Kattabelthur in Kundapura was suffering from thalassemia and requires blood transfusion every fortnight. Parents need nearly ₹40 lakh for the four year-old boy.

Another parent from Kadthala in Karkala needs ₹17 lakh for the liver transplantation of their four-year-old daughter while a two-and-a-half month baby from Mulky, who was suffering from breathlessness and pneumonia, required about ₹8 lakh for treatment. Besides these three, the team will also help three other needy children.

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