S. Harpal Singh
ADILABAD: The increase in prices of facial cosmetics used by artistes for make-up superficially seems very subtle but its impact on them can be comparable only with the garish. In just a matter of five years cosmetic items have registered a three fold increase resulting in burning a hole in the pockets of the already impoverished lot of folk artistes.
Take for instance the case of Chindu Yakshagana artistes in Adilabad district who now spend about Rs. 500 for painting their faces instead of the Rs. 150 they used to spend until 2003. During the same period the remuneration given to a Chindu Yakshagana troupe has increased from Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 2,000 which however, is not adequate because even travel has simultaneously become costlier.
There are over 150 artistes of this folk tradition in the mandals of Nirmal, Khanapur and Bhainsa under Nirmal Division alone. They are constantly on the move in search of interested audience, sometimes even going to places in other districts.
“It is not easy to perform these because of rise in prices of almost everything. Mercifully, the heavy costumes worn during performances by our artists need not be changed time and again. The paccha powder, zinc and teen mas ingredients essential for facial make up have become so costly that we cannot afford to have some quantity in surplus. We now purchase make-up material just enough for the immediate performance,” said Gaddam Rajalingu, a Chindu Yakshagana artist who was here for his felicitation by the government on Wednesday.
According to this artist from Nirmal town a performance by his troupe in Adilabad town means expenditure of about Rs. 1,500 that is inclusive of bus fares, food and on cosmetics.