“Jain Sahab Ravanwale,” proclaimed a banner near Malwa Mills square in Indore on Wednesday afternoon, urging people to contact for delivery of ready-made Ravana effigies within just three hours.
Jain Sahab Ravanwale alias Kalu Jain, 33, who claims to be the city’s first professional Ravana effigy maker, has already sold 90 out of the 113 Ravana effigies he made this year.
Going by the hoarding, it probably won’t take him long to sell the remaining effigies on the eve of Dussehra.
“Since I started (making and selling Ravana effigies) 14 years back, people have known me and place advance orders over the phone. I don’t spend much on publicity,” said Jain, whose family runs a shoe store near Malwa Mills.
Though selling readymade Ravana effigies is his source of livelihood, he considers the 10-headed Sri Lankan king Ravana the 25th Tirthankar (Jains worship 24 Tirthankars).
“He was scholar, a pundit and a master of all trades. That is why I consider him the 25th Tirthankar. Other people too have told me so,” said Jain, who has studied till Class 8.
Before the enterprising youngster at the time came up with the idea, residents would either hire labourers or make Ravana effigies themselves, using grass, jute, bamboos and crackers.
“Now people place orders with custom specification for decorating the effigy, especially the head,” he said.
Presently, there are around 100 professional Ravana effigy makers in the city who earn up to Rs 80,000 during Dussehra time.