The large scale Ganesh festivities in the city are providing a source of earning for ‘bandwalas’ from other States who are coming here to cash upon the seasonal demand.

About 200 band troupes comprising between 10 and 20 members from Maharashtra have descended on the city to make a quick buck. They have come from places such as Aurangabad, Latur, Jalna, Parbhani, Nanded, Osmanabad and are camping at a few lodges in the city for the last few days. Ashok Gaikwad, a native of Nanded, says, “Orders are limited in our hometown and more so we are underpaid. So we come to Hyderabad and play during the immersion processions and return.”

The customary practice of musical bands and drummers leading the Ganesh immersion procession has always helped artistes like Ashok get good work during the season.

A 10-member team charges anywhere between Rs. 15,000 and Rs. 18,000 for two hours. “At the end of the 11-day festival each of us earns about Rs. 10,000,” says Dharamsingh, also from Nanded. Apart from those from adjoining States a few ‘Dappu troupes’ from across the State are also camping in the city.

The troupes, comprising mainly youngsters, come from different villages in Telangana and are preferred for their traditional attire, rhythms and dance. However, they don’t come cheap. Each team comprising 12 to 15 artistes charge anywhere between Rs. 12,000 and Rs. 15,000 for a three-hour performance. “It is the only season when we can make money,” says Pullaiah, a native of Mahabubnagar, who works as a farm hand.

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