Folk artistes who had no income during lockdown, now earn through COVID-19 awareness programmes

The folk artistes create awareness about hand-washing, wearing masks and physical distancing

The folk artistes create awareness about hand-washing, wearing masks and physical distancing   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

For the past four months, folk artists Merlin Singh and his team mates from Kalappai Kalaikuzhu, have not had any income. But now, with many NGOS roping them in for Community Intervention Programmes (CIP) of the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC), they are managing to run their households.

The GCC along with NGOs, has been conducting CIPs to create awareness about COVID-19 in slums and in densely-populated areas. Recently, the Kalappai team, in association with the Uravugal Social Welfare Trust, staged a performance, to create awareness about COVID-19 among homeless people in Chetpet and Mylapore.

“Prior to the lockdown we used to earn around ₹15,000 per month. This is because apart from programmes, we also impart folk art training in schools. Now, all the revenue has stopped,” said Mr. Singh.

Meanwhile 37-year-old folk and theatre artiste K. Jayakrishnan said that many young folk artists have started looking for other jobs. “Many have become delivery boys. Luckily some NGOs have requested my team to be part of awareness programmes. So I am able to make some money,” he said.

S. Prabhakaran, a member of the Uravugal Trust said that they pay the troupe for each programme. “We conduct at least three CIPs per week. When people see traditional arts being performed, they stop and watch. This helps us create awareness about the disease,” he explains.

A GCC official said that the awareness created by outreach workers and NGOs has helped control the spread of the virus. “They have been mainly asked to work in slums and densely-populated areas. They create awareness on hand-washing, wearing masks and ensuring physical distancing through various programmes,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2020 3:35:44 PM |

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