A monster everybody loves

Costume for care

Ravi Katpadi, a daily-wage worker, dressed up as an alien this Janashtami

Udupi is known for Krishna Janmashtami. The celebrations create an ambience of ecstasy amid its crowds through processions, costumes and stalls.

But Ravi Katpadi, a daily-wage labourer who hails from Udupi, uses this festivity to help underprivileged children get medical treatment.

Five to six years ago, Ravi heard about a story of a one-month-old baby in which a doctor’s negligence left the baby’s hand dysfunctional. But her parents could not afford the surgery. He was determined to help the baby.

From that Janmashtami on, Ravi has been dressing up in unique costumes, entertaining people and amassing money to hand it over to ailing children.

He has so far collected around Rs 43 lakh.

His costumes/attires every year are themed after aliens and monsters.

Each attire has been designed meticulously for the occasion.

Dinesh Muttu has been helping Ravi in this task. Still, it isn’t easy. Ravi sometimes uses up to 20 hours to paint his skin and transform into a monster.

When in a costume, Ravi doesn’t eat or sleep. He only sips on water to keep the costume intact.

Ravi’s deed has earned him innumerable supporters and friends. Thus, ‘Ravi Friends Katpadi’ is a team that accompanies him every year.

A crowdfunding website, MILAAP, was successful in making a documentary about Ravi Katpadi, A Kind-hearted Monster, and collecting Rs 16,80,000. The money was then donated to a few children who needed healthcare. In the first year, his costume got him Rs 1,04,810, with which he supported one child.

With Rs 3,65,000 in the second year, his could support four children. The following year, the amount went up to Rs 4,20,000 and reached four children.

His costume this year, The Vampire, has got him around Rs 5 lakh and strengthened him to help seven sick children (from the district and outside) with conditions like liver cancer, blood count problem and brain haemorrhage.

For his deeds, he has been recognised as a role model for youths. He has been felicitated with the Rajyotsava Award in 2017, Yuva Seva Award etc for his work.

About helping others, he says, “Every individual can save a small amount of money and help the poor. The satisfaction and joy in return cannot be explained. To grow in a society is to live a life of humanity and gratification.”

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