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Odisha Natya Sangha Urges Govt To Reopen Theatres

Bhubaneswar: Members of Odisha Natya Sangha (ONS), an outfit of theatre personalities, staged a silent protest in front of Rabindra Mandap here on Sunday, demanding reopening of theatres across the state.

Theatres, cultural centres and drama halls across the state are lying closed for the last eight months in the wake the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic. As per sources, around 1500 artistes of 147 theatre groups under ONS have lost their livelihood after the closure of theatres.

A group of artistes under the ambit of ONS resorted to the silent protest alleging that their requests to the government to open halls are yet to yield any results.

“Several states have slowly started opening halls and auditorium for cultural events. Odisha Government should understand the plight of theatre workers in the state. They have lost their livelihood and are going through tumultuous times,” a senior member of ONS said.

“The numbers of audience could be restricted inside the theatre. Social distancing and use of mask norms should be strictly followed,” he suggested.

“We have informed the administration about our plight innumerable times, but in vain. The government should understand that the artistes are living a miserable life due to shutting down of drama halls. Many other people like set designers, costume designers, sound and light operators, makeup artists associated with theatres are also going through hard times as they have lost their livelihood,” said another senior member.

“We are hopeful that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will consider our demand and allow the reopening of halls and theatres across the state,” he added.

(Edited by Suryakant Jena)

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