Warangal: Artistes in distress as productive season meanders

Warangal: Artistes in distress as productive season meanders
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Orchestra program in Wedding (Representational Purpose Only)
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Warangal: The din and bustle of social events especially weddings that normally mark the summer turning out to be a dud for the artistes, who depend solely on stage performances, this season.

Warangal: The din and bustle of social events especially weddings that normally mark the summer turning out to be a dud for the artistes, who depend solely on stage performances, this season. Thanks to the coronavirus lockdown that not only spoiled many a party but also the livelihood of thousands of artistes across the region. With thousands of weddings and a host of other events to take place, the summer has always been seen as a productive season for the folk singers, musicians, magicians, orchestra groups and mimicry artistes.

Traditionally, Warangal, the epicentre of Telangana Movement, has produced umpteen numbers of singers, folk artistes etc. including instrumental players. Each artiste used to earn anywhere ranging from Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000 per event. These artistes get 20 to 25 events in a season. The number of artistes of all art forms is estimated to be around 2,000 in the erstwhile Warangal district. Of which only a few of them have got absorbed in the State service to propagate government's welfare programmes. The others solely depend on events for their bread and butter.

Apart from weddings and other events, these artistes also get subsistence from religious events organised by the temples, awareness programmes conducted by the non-governmental organisations (NGOs), product launchings and promotions of the private firms, and political meetings.

Speaking to The Hans India, Sakalakala Samskrutika Mandali State President Gaddam Sudhakar said: "The 12 kilogrammes of rice and Rs 1,500 cash provided by the State Government is the only solace this season. Besides losing weddings and other events, we also lost the opportunity of being hired by the Department of Language and Culture for several programmes."

The renowned commentator Syed Maqdoom says that government needs to provide alternative means of livelihood for the artistes. "Even post-lockdown, it's going to be difficult for the artistes to survive as there would be no congregations for the next few months due to the coronavirus scare," Maqdoom said. He said that those depended on ancillary trades and professions such as sound system operators, tent houses, decorators for livelihood are also suffering from the lockdown which is unavoidable for a few more months under present situation.

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