Chairman of the Karnataka Yakshagana Bayalata Academy Kumble Sundar Rao said on Sunday that lack of young artistes was affecting Yakshagana.

He was speaking at a function organised by Yakshagana Kalaranga to present the Matti Muralidhar Rao Award to Bare Keshava Bhat, Yakshagana-Tala Maddale artiste, here.

Mr. Rao said, compared to last year, there was an increase in the number of students applying for the Yakshagana training centres in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada this year.

He said that there was a time when Yakshagana was not regarded as a paying profession. But the scenario had changed now. Yakshagana artistes were in great demand and they were being paid handsome remuneration. Hence, the elders should tell the younger generation about the importance of Yakshagana, he said.

He said that the academy and organisations such as Yakshagana Kalaranga were committed to promoting Yakshagana.

Mr. Bare Keshava Bhat expressed happiness over getting the Matti Muralidhar Rao Award.

Lakshmivara Tirtha Swamiji of Shiroor Math was present on the occasion.

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