One might not think that a monster costume could save the lives of children, but this guy is dedicated to using his frightening appearance to help sick kids.
Ravi Katapadi has spent the last five years dressing up as mythological creatures and movie monsters so that he can raise money for children whose families cannot afford life-saving surgeries.
He first got the idea to use elaborate costumes for fundraising back in 2014 when he saw a news segment about a newborn baby who had lost the use of her right hand due to a doctor’s negligence. Heartbroken by the story, Katapadi wondered how he could help.
Since he makes money working as a day laborer, he didn’t have enough cash to pay for the surgery himself – so he conferred with 15 of his friends and asked them to help him make a costume for the upcoming Krishna Janmashtami festival.
The 2-day Hindu festival celebrates the birth of Krishna with festivities and parades. As a means of taking advantage of the festivities in his home of Udupi, Katapadi and his friends agreed to create a detailed costume of Faun, a character from the Pan’s Labyrinth movie.
The costume took one month to make and 12 hours for Katapadi to put on. Once he had successfully donned the full costume, he wore it for 36 hours straight in order to raise the most money, even though the outfit prevented him from eating or drinking for the duration of the festival.
In a matter of days, he had raised the $113,000 he needed to pay for the child’s surgery.
Now, every year since his initial inspiration, Katapadi and his team have worked tirelessly to use their creations as a way of paying for poor children’s surgeries. Their efforts have resulted in the successful treatment of 11 children.
This year in particular, they are attempting to raise an additional $27,000 in order to pay for four different medical treatments. The young benefactors range from a 13-year-old boy who needs kidney transplants and a 4-year-old girl fighting blood cancer.
Katapadi has already managed to raise a large portion of the costs with his most recent costumed appearance, but he hopes that his team’s crowdfunding page will be able to help make up the difference.
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