Mahbubnagar: Folk artistes had played a vital role in taking the Telangana movement to the villages and deeper into the rural areas through their song, drama and their folklores and ignited the Telangana sentiment and created awareness among the people.
Folk artistes performing a drama to spread the message of Telangana movement (file)
However, when the State was formed they and their services were forgotten. The hope that their lives would be changed after the formation of Telangana State was dashed as neither the Telangana movement party nor the new government cared about them. Therefore, they continued to live in a miserable condition.
In Mahbubnagar district there are 40 officially registered folk artiste associations. Each association has six artistes. The State government had declared them as government employees and decided to give Rs.24, 514 as salary every month.
However, the artistes of the district are saying that as against 10,000 artistes living across the state, only 550 artists have been bestowed with the status of the government employees by the state government to give away the benefits. The lives of remaining artistes continued to be in deplorable conditions.
“I was hopeful that soon after formation of Telangana my life would be transformed completely. But, we are repenting for achieving the Telangana State. We need the immediate attention of the State government. We want work from it at regular intervals,” said Allampally Narasimhulu, the member of Janaranjani Cultural Association from Yedira village of Mahbubnagar mandal.
Similar was the response of Srinivasulu, the member of Swara Madhuri Folk Artiste Association from Tankara village of Hanwada mandal in Mahbubnagar district. “I have sacrificed 18 years of my life for the separate state agitation.
The government should have declared at least 1,500 artistss as government employees and provided work as per their qualifications. However, no such decision was taken and we were rendered jobless. My friend like Yadagiri has migrated to Mumbai for his livelihood as the State government ignored him,” he said.
Not just these, there are many folk artistes in Telangana who are now working as construction workers and auto rikshaw drivers as they find no source of living with their traditional art that they have learned.