‘Annamacharya Project’ artistes demand regularisation of services

Demanding regularisation of their services on par with the employees of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), artistes of Annamacharya Project, one of the several propagation wings of the Devasthanam, staged a protest at Annamacharya Bhavan here on Tuesday.

Raising slogans, the protestors said that about 450 odd employees have been working in the organisation for the past 19 years without proper recognition. “We have always relied on music for our livelihood and do not know anything other than singing keerthanas, reciting Harikatha and playing musical instruments”.

The agitating artistes also maintained that for the past 13 years, they had been performing for free even after their allotted quota of programmes based on their job grades. “The value of last year’s free programmes performed by the artistes’ amounts to more than Rs.2 crore,” they said. Highlighting the rising costs of essential commodities, they said that it was not fair collecting income tax from the employees whose salaries ranged from Rs.6,000 to Rs.11,000. They further questioned the delay in implementing the resolutions passed by the TTD Trust Board in 2008 like issuance of ‘laddu’ cards and gradual increase in job grades every five years.