Bhubaneswar: With COVID-19 casting its shadow on celebrations and festivities, people are using the occasions to spread messages as well as cheer up others. Raksha Bandhan is ahead and ‘Rakhi’, the symbolic tie of the bond between brothers and sisters, has offered one such opportunity.
Laxmipriya, a student, has come up with home-made Rakhis carrying coronavirus awareness messages and dedicated to ‘COVID Warriors’. “I thought of making Rakhis at home as going to the market is not safe now. I mostly use rice and thread. I want to make people aware of the threat of the coronavirus and the risky jobs done by the COVID Warriors through my handmade Rakhis,” said Laxmipriya.
After graduation, Laxmipriya is now preparing for competitive exams.
A city-based artist, Ashish Das has also made unique Pattachitra Rakhis. “I had made one Pattachitra Jagannath Rakhi and posted the pic on social media. It was highly appreciated and sold. I was encouraged and started making more Rakhis,” said Ashish.
He is making Pattachitra Rakhi, using paper, glue and colours only. In most of the Rakhis, he has depicted Lord Jagannath and Radha and Krishna in the background petals.
Another city-based artist Nibedita Mishra is also making unique Rakhis with coconut shells.
“It takes two days to make one Rakhi with coconut shell. I have to clean, dry and polish the shell and then apply colours,” said Nibedita. Besides Rakhis, she is also making small bowl sets.
With the colourful Rakhi shops and gift stores that crop up almost every street in the city at this time of the year missing due to COVID-19, the creativity of these artists has added a new touch to the festival this year.