It has become a trend off late to burn the effigy of demon king Raavan with great pomp and show during Dussehra. This has made the Ramlila in Delhi much more than the fabled Ram and Raavan yudh, as organisers go to extreme lengths to make their Raavan effigies better and taller than the others.
Raavan effigies last year had climbed to new heights, with the tallest effigy being 100 feet long at a Ramlila in Old Delhi. There are plans to make them bigger this year, with the theme of corruption expected to be highlighted in the effigies.
“The Raavan effigy will have corruption written on its chest. When it will burn, it will show that the evil of corruption is being destroyed. Last year, we had a Raavan that was 100 feet tall. This year, we have plans of making it 110 feet long,” says Arjun Kumar of the Luv Kush Ramlila Committee.
“This year, we will have a Raavan that will go as high as 95 feet. Since ours is a more traditional celebration, it will be loud, with lots of firecrackers in the effigy,” says Pradeep Sharan of Shri Dharmic Leela Committee. A lot of money is also spent on the effigies of Raavan. An effigy of 80 to 85 feet can cost anything between Rs 1 to Rs 2 lakhs. “All the three effigies of Raavan, Meghnath and Kumbhakarna cost around Rs 3.5 to Rs 4 lakhs. Fire crackers costing Rs 2 to Rs 3 lakhs are used in these. After that, the cost of the Raavan effigy goes up. It also increases as per the extra effects people want in it,” says Rahul Sharma of the Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee.
“The Raavan effigy that we will burn will be eco-friendly, where we will be using recycled and waste paper along with noise-free crackers. We hope to make it as tall as 100 feet this year. ” says Piyush Pushpak of Great India Place Mall in Noida.