ANI Photo | Dussehra: Muslim family from Meerut checks into Shimla temple for making effigies of Ravana

Sending out a message of communal harmony, a Muslim family from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh is burning the proverbial midnight oil to make effigies of the Ravana, Kumbhkaran and Meghnad, characters from the epic Ramayana, ahead of the Dussehra festival.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu will burn the effigy of Ravana in the famous Jakhu temple in Shimla on Tuesday.
These effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran and Meghnad have been made by people belonging to Muslim families over a number of years.
This year, the third generation of the Muslim family from Meerut reached Jakhu Temple to make effigies of the demon king and other characters from Ramayana.
“We come to Shimla every year during Dussehra. We feel very happy to be involved in the preparations for Dussehra. We have been making statues and effigies over three generations now. The effigies of Ravana that we make tower at 45 feet, and those of Kumbhkarna and Meghnad are 35 and 30 feet respectively. It’s been a week since we started working here. We want to set an example and spread a message of communal harmony here,” Mohammad Aslam, a member of the Meerut family, told ANI.
The youths identified themselves as the descendants of Rahat Hussain, a resident of Meerut whose family has been into making effigies for Dussehra for the last 70 years.
Rahat’s three sons, Muhammad Aslam, Muhammad Addil and Muhammad Arfeen, have been preparing effigies for the last 15 days in the Jakhu temple of Shimla.
Till the effigies are ready, these people stay at the Jakhu temple and their food is arranged by the temple management.
Apart from Jakhu, these brothers also work in making effigies for Sankat Mochan temple, Shoghi and Sunni areas of Shimla.
The festival of Dussehra will be celebrated with characteristic fervour across the country on Tuesday.
In Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh Governor Shiv Pratap Shukla will initiate the Dussehra celebrations

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