for above issue presumably due to locale settings that does not seem to pick up from system locale OR through editing locale.conf, I simply tried a workaround by adding en_DK locale , then edited LC_MESSAGES and LC_TIME to en_DK.
not terminal on i3 displays i3status ! still the bar displays error message !
further, due to above workaround, urxvt as well as xterm fails to display the unicode chars… but if i restart the same app from respective term, it displays ! FYI
EDIT: resolved the issue by following this L I N K
i added the required locales using localedef option.
though its not required by me and en_IN just works, for the sake of locale issue on i3status, i added them and it resolved the issue. hence marking this thread as [SOLVED]