Tribune News Service
Rohtak, May 12
With no cultural programmes or social functions being organised for more than a year due to the prevalence of Covid-19 pandemic, hundreds of folk artistes across the state have been compelled to work as labourers to earn a living during the lockdown.
“I belong to a family of folk artistes. I am an MA and MPhil and have been leading a folk-dance troupe for about 22 years. Our group has performed before the President, Prime Minister and other dignitaries at national and international events. We are out of work for more than a year as no cultural programmes are being organised anywhere due to the lockdown. I have now joined a nut-bolt factory as a helper to make ends meet,” says Surender Singh, a Haryanavi folk-dancer.
Another folk-dancer, Subhash Kumar of Rohtak, who has also participated in several national programmes, at present operates an auto-rickshaw to eke out a living.
Jitender Singh, an accomplished shehnai player who has performed at top events of the National School of Drama and Sangeet Natak Akademi, is now trying to make ends meet by whitewashing houses and shops in the Gandhi Camp area of Rohtak. Ravi Kumar, a noted nagada-player, who has performed at several youth festivals, goes to the vegetable-market, where he earns a meagre amount by loading and unloading sacks of fruits and vegetables.
Sunny Sawariya, a raagni-singer, who has won accolades for his performance at several cultural events in different states, at present runs a small kiryana shop in Rohtak.
Financial aid sought
- Veteran theatre artiste and former Deputy Director and in-charge of Multi-Art Cultural Centre, Kurukshetra, Vishav Deepak Trikha has urged Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to provide some financial aid to the state artistes.
- In a letter to the Chief Minister, Trikha and several other artistes and art-lovers have demanded that a monthly allowance of Rs 5,000 be given to the folk artistes who have been forced to do lowly jobs to support their families during the lockdown.