True Hero: A Costumed Man in Udupi Raises ₹14 Lakh to Save 16 Children!
By painting his body and donning different ‘Vesha’ during the grand celebration of Sri Krishna Janmashtami for the last four years, Ravi Katapady has been collecting money for underprivileged children in need of corrective surgery in Udupi. Such is the story of Ravi Katapady, a daily-wage labourer, who collects money for underprivileged children in need of corrective surgery in the temple town of Udupi.
He does this by painting his body and donning different ‘Vesha’ during the grand celebration of Sri Krishna Janmashtami every year, in the temple town. Ravi, who is a mason by profession, also used to be part of this vibrantly dressed troupe, until he came across the story of a baby with a dysfunctional hand that quite literally drove him to tears four years ago. Upon enquiring with the parents, he found that Anvitha had lost the functionality of her right hand at the time of her birth, due to negligence on the doctor’s part.
“Seeing a child as young as her who is unable to use her own arm, tore me apart. The parents told me that her hand could be fixed through surgery costing about ₹1.15 lakh, which was much beyond the limits of their financial ability. That’s when I thought I could do something”, Ravi told The Better India. He offered to pay for the surgery through his costumed acts at the festival, which the little one’s parents gratefully agreed.
Conferring with his friend, who is an artist, on different costume ideas that would appeal to children, Ravi finally zeroed in on Faun, one of the characters that appeared in the film, Pan’s Labyrinth. While his effort deserves applause of its own, his costumes are worthy of praise in themselves. Such was realistic of his guise, which he managed to collect the entire amount for baby Anvitha’s surgery, the success of the initiative made him grateful to god that he could make a difference in a person’s life and decided that he would continue to don costumes if it could make lives of children better.