Ravi Katpadi, a daily wage worker from Katpadi in Udupi adorns himself with costumes of superheroes while his dedicated followers called ‘Ravi Friends Katpadi’ tag along to collect funds from households to help underprivileged children pay for their medical expenses. He does this every Sri Krishna Janmashtami.
He started this practice ever since he heard of a one- month- old baby whose parents could not afford the surgery that would treat her hand that turned dysfunctional due to a doctor’s negligence. Over the course of five years that have passed by, Ravi Katpadi has made his goal to entertain the masses so that he could collect maximum money to help the ailing children.
While most of us experience trouble in our day to day life, Mr. Katpadi is all about pushing his limits. In order to make sure that his costume stays in its place, Ravi forgoes food and only sips on water to keep himself hydrated. While the long term effects of gearing up in costume and paint has left his skin with multiple ruptures he still managed to find a way that would help him continue helping these children. Some of the characters he has drawn inspiration from include the giant green lizard-man from the Hollywood movie The Amazing Spider Man, a fan from Guillermo del Toro’s movie Pan’s Labyrinth and many more. He keeps his audience entertained by dressing up different costumes every year. This charitable investment that he has been making has helped him raise at least 15 lakhs of rupees since the year 2013. This money helps children with health issues like cancer, heart problems, skin diseases and so on in availing proper health care services.
While this might seem like a one-man show, Mr. Katpadi has many teams who have been helping him put up this show behind the scenes. To cite an example, there is a specific team that looks into the kind of social charity that he can contribute to, another team that is in charge of creativity and a different one for logistics. When asked why he continues to support these children who are very much in need of financial aid, he says, coming from humble backgrounds, he has witnessed enough and more suffering and hardship in and around him which is the reason why he understands how important it is to support these children and hopefully play a role in helping them live a better life.
Even Though he earns only 450 to 550 rupees a day, he has shown his remarkable and unwavering commitment to this cause by raising one lakh the first year, which gradually increased to 3.2 lakhs the consecutive year and eventually helped him donate a little over 5 lakhs just last year. Social media has indeed helped Mr. Katpadi gain access to a larger audience as he has been reaching out to people from Udupi who live abroad. Some of these medical treatments can be really financially exhausting which is why he decided to hop on the trend of using social media to create awareness and make the world a better place. It is always people like Mr. Katpadi who have an unwavering will power to stand by and consistently work towards contributing to a noble cause which makes the whole experience of life beautiful and worth living.