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Coronavirus | Assam theatre workers seek financial aid from govt.

Representational Image | The theatre workers are facing an acute financial crisis as they have had no work for almost four months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. File

Representational Image | The theatre workers are facing an acute financial crisis as they have had no work for almost four months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. File   | Photo Credit: THE HINDU

Theatre workers in Assam have urged Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to extend financial assistance to people engaged in the profession as they are facing hardship in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

A delegation of Professional Theatre Workers, Assam has submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister on Saturday, seeking his intervention for providing support to them.

The coronavirus pandemic has been unsparing to the community and has cast a shadow on the careers of many theatre artistes and workers, making sustenance difficult, a member of the delegation said.

The theatre workers are facing an acute financial crisis as they have had no work for almost four months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

“Many are selling vegetables, while some have turned daily-wage labourers. Some have even sold their prized possessions used in theatre productions,” the association of the theatre workers said in the memorandum.

There are hundreds of people who earn their livelihood working in various departments of theatre groups across the State. These people work in different segments such as scriptwriting, acting, set design, make-up and lights.

The Assamese culture and values have been immensely enriched by the contribution of the theatre artistes and many have brought laurels to the State from different national and international platforms, the memorandum said.

“Despite their contribution to the Assamese society, most of the theatre professionals are not part of any welfare scheme. This is a matter of concern,” the member of the delegation said.

According to him, the theatre personalities have wholeheartedly supported the government’s decision to implement the lockdown and tried to make people aware of the measures taken by it to contain the spread of the disease.

The lockdown restrictions have been eased and life is limping back to normalcy in most parts of the State but the function of the theatre groups seems to be a difficult task as people are continuing to avoid large gatherings, he said.

“In such a situation, we do not have any other option but to seek your support and assistance in our battle for survival. Therefore, we request you to kindly support and assist us for at least the next six months,” the theatre workers said in their representation.

The memorandum was also signed by office-bearers of several professional theatre groups including the Assam unit of India People’s Theatre Association.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2020 6:08:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-assam-theatre-workers-seek-financial-aid-from-govt/article32308646.ece

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