Assembly Elections

No cheer for light and sound workers

The people behind creating the ‘sound’ and ‘fury’ in the election season remain in distress after being hit badly by the COVID-19 crisis.

Light and sound workers, announcers and backstage artists engaged by the political parties to step up the election mood continue to suffer amidst hopes that the Assembly election may provide some succour to their shattered lives.

“The 50,000-odd members affiliated to the Light and Sound Welfare Association of Kerala, which include people providing mike and sound systems on rent, announcers, and ‘pandal’ workers, have not yet come out of the financial crisis induced by the pandemic. We have lost an estimated ₹25 crore in terms of revenue and earnings after the breakout of COVID-19,” said Biju K. V, general secretary of the association.

Hundreds had to leave their jobs as festivals, marriages and stage events were suspended following the crisis. “People who were offering mike systems on a smaller scale were the worst hit as they had no other option but to take up jobs in the construction sector or other odd jobs over the last one year,” he said.

Abdul Raheem Kuzhippuram, president of the association and an announcer for long, said they had to sit at homes without any work after outdoor events and activities came to a halt since March last year.

Lack of avenues

“The local body elections had witnessed a slight push in demand, but only a few had received assignments. With a sharp decline in the number of religious festivals and other public functions, the announcers ran out of opportunities,” he said.

The association representatives pointed out that the Assembly elections may not bring a major change in their earnings as it is confined to 140 Assembly constituencies compared with the opportunities available in times of the three-tier local body elections. The decision by the major fronts to give improved focus on election campaign through social media and small gatherings in view of the pandemic had also dented the prospects of firms giving mike and sound systems on rent.

Mr. Biju alleged that successive governments had neglected the concerns of the people working in the sector despite being a considerable vote bank.


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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 8:13:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/assembly2014/no-cheer-for-light-and-sound-workers/article34117139.ece

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