Other States

Campaign launched to help folk artistes in western Rajasthan

Langas and Manganiyars are hereditary professional Muslim musicians residing mostly in Rajasthan's Jaisalmer and Barmer districts.

Civil society groups and research institutions here have joined hands to help out the Langa-Manganiyar folk artistes of western Rajasthan, struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure of tourist places and hotels has deprived the celebrated musicians of their livelihood for more than two months.

A social media campaign titled “Maru Mani” (jewels of desert) was launched earlier this week for receiving monetary support from the public at large for preserving the rich heritage of traditional music and dance forms of the Thar desert. The community’s music was supported by wealthy landlords and merchants before Independence.

Langas and Manganiyars are hereditary professional Muslim musicians residing mostly in Rajasthan's Jaisalmer and Barmer districts, and Sindh province’s Tharparkar and Sanghar districts on the other side of the international border. The COVID-19 lockdown has stopped their global performances and posed a challenge to the survival of the popular art form.

Nek Mohammed, an internationally travelled performer, has composed a song narrating the difficulties faced by the community during the present crisis, and the lack of support when they had lost their livelihood. The State government has started giving them a one-time assistance of ₹2,500 each under the Chief Minister’s Lok Kalakar Protsahan Yojana.

Jaipur-based Lok Samvad Sansthan’s secretary Kalyan Singh Kothari said here on Thursday that the drive for supporting Langa-Manganiyar artistes would continue for the next three months. The institutions that have joined the efforts include Rupayan Sansthan of Jodhpur, Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication, and the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun.

Mr. Kothari said the folk musicians would be provided with guidance for creating multimedia content with their art, utilising smartphones so as to leverage social media platforms. A crowdfunding platform has also been created for community mobilisation to get financial support.

The Rupayan Sansthan has established a folk music school in Jodhpur for training young underprivileged boys from the Langa community in the presentation of their repertoire with proper expression and diction. The school also offers academic education to the boys between the ages of 7 and 14 years.

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2020 5:05:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/campaign-launched-to-help-folk-artistes-in-western-rajasthan/article31760604.ece

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