Business is booming again as taxidermy companies
Most doll manufacturers have suspended regular operations for two months ahead of Dasara to make custom dolls.
- The city’s taxidermists say they are finally doing good business ( taxidermy) after having had little work for the past three years. Artists said there has been a sharp rise in demand from Delhi and other states, and some have even received orders from other countries, including the UK and South Africa.
“2020 and 2021 have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and last year there was uncertainty about outdoor events. But this year I got 100 orders. This is more than double what we received in 2022,” Shankar told Ravanwala.
Like most other taxidermy manufacturers in Delhi, Mr. Shankar set aside his full-time job as a mechanic for two months before Dasara started creating custom taxidermy. He expects his total earnings this season to be between £40,000 and £50,000.
individual animal figurines
“Sometimes a customer wants a stuffed animal with 10 heads, and that’s easy. This year, we were asked to dress Ravana in ghagra,” Mr. Shankar said.
The 50-year-old, who lives in Titarpur, a statue-making hub in west Delhi, added that a customer from the UK had also recently placed an order with him.
Monu ‘Ravanwala’, 40, said he was asked to make a doll with two heads facing forward and backward.
“Some customers want Ravana’s mustache to be twice the size of the stuffed animal. Others want to decorate it with patchwork fabric. We must accommodate these requests,” Mr. Monu added.
Vinod Kumar, 42, was pleasantly surprised when someone from South Africa placed an order for him. He laughed, “At first, I couldn’t believe that our Laban was popular even overseas.”
Because the dolls had to be shipped by ship, we used the highest quality glue, bamboo and fabric. We sewed the fabric twice to prevent it from tearing during travel,” added Kumar, who works as a waiter at a catering company.
But Mr Shankar said: “Now labor costs have become unaffordable. Daily wage workers will be charged ₹1,200 per day, up from ₹500 paid till last year. This is why my entire family works with me, and why my children miss school so often. But what can we do? “We have to make a living.”
With the Delhi government banning the sale, storage, production and bursting of firecrackers to curb air pollution, doll makers said they are receiving orders for smaller Ravanas and not crackers this season. Dasara will be celebrated on October 24.
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