Bonds Of Love: Cuttack Designer Goes Online With Fun Quirky ‘COVID Rakhi Kit’

Cuttack: With the conventional sale of rakhis facing a forlorn prospect in the Twin City due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cuttack-based graphic designer Ishwar Sahoo has been creating special rakhi packages to sell online.

Social media platforms are flooded with indigenously made rakhis and endearing hampers with adorable messages, spoiling buyers with choices. And Ishwar too has joined the bandwagon with his innovative “COVID-Rakhi Kit”.

The kits made of small wooden boxes come in three varieties, he informed. “The first variety comprises a wodden rakhi dial printed with the photos of brothers and sisters. It costs Rs 60. In the second variety, the wooden rakhi comes along with a 3D-printed mask,” said Ishwar, a resident of Chauliaganj locality.

“But it is the third variety that is the most popular. It comprises a two-layered 3D-printed mask, a hand-sanitizer, a chocolate, a key-ring with a QR code generating a sweet Raksha Bandhan message and two vials of rice and sindoor,” he added.

Besides, the wooden-printed dial of the rakhi can be used as a fridge magnet. Then there are fun rakhis with different funky cartoons and texts like “Bade Bhai”, “Chote Bhai”, “Pyaare Bhai” and “PuBG Rakhi” that can be customised and put in the kit as per a buyer’s wish, he informed.

Asked about his first foray into selling rachis online, Ishwar rued that his graphics and photography firm by the name of SR AV Photography was closed in the wake of the pandemic. He then thought of selling masks and rakhis online to make ends meet.

“With my knowledge of graphics, I began selling 3D-printed masks first and with Raksha Bandhan approaching, I thought of printing graphics on wood and sell them as rakhis and rakhi hampers,” he shared.

Ishwar said his network of customers goes beyond Odisha to places like Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. “As we were selling masks earlier, we had gained a network of customers over Facebook and WhatsApp. So networking wasn’t a big challenge. But courier services have become a problem in shutdown areas in other states. So we had to cancel many such orders. This remains a challenge for us,” ,” he said.

“We have delivered around 400 orders till date and received around 500 orders excluding the cancelled ones. Even as we are talking I have to despatch 15 kits by the evening. We are expecting another 400-500 orders this week.”

Earlier, he delivered 3D-printed masks to companies like IOCL, MCL, Koustuv Institute and the orders of many more corporate houses are slated to be delivered in the upcoming days.

It just goes to show that the concerted efforts by Ishwar wouldn’t let intermittent shutdown in view of COVID-19 play bummer to the plans of siblings who are trying harder to make their Raksha Bandhan special on August 3.

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