Rourkela: Their professional commitment and artistic skill entertained many and added colour to festive events and special occasions.
However, the pandemic-induced restrictions robbed their livelihood pushing them into a state of misery.
Meet members of the ‘Srikhetra Kala Parishad’, a Rourkela-based Bhajan troupe, who made a living out of performing stage programmes. The unending shutdowns and lockdowns have robbed them of their passion and profession as the curtains continues to hang over the stage for orchestra musicians, singers and other performing artistes.
They alleged that government restrictions have left many like them in penury.
“As the orchestra industry has been hit hard by the pandemic-induced lockdowns, we are watching helplessly with empty stomach. It is now very difficult to lead our family as we are unable to arrange even the daily ration” said a musician of the troupe.
“Apart from performing on stage, I used to conduct music classes and teach students. But, classes have also been shut due to lockdown restrictions. I have no options left to earn and feed my family,” he added.
Another artiste of the ‘Parishad’ said “We all are solely dependent on the Bhajan shows which makes our ends meet. But, now, the situation is different as there is no work for us due to the pandemic which pushed us into a state of despair. We request the government to extend some financial help, at least till the restrictions are lifted.”
With no other alternative means for sustenance, the hapless artistes have appealed to the government to lend a helping hand during the pandemic.
“We perform Bhajan of Lord Jagannath on stage during festive season and other occasions, which gives us immense satisfaction and livelihood for our families. But, the pandemic has ruined everything. We have been staring at a bleak future. We pray to Lord Jagannath to relive all from such an unprecedented crisis and request the government to come to our rescue to tide over the financial crisis,” said a singer in the troupe.