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Guru-shishya tradition is alive here

A strange bond:Bed-ridden Bharat Leela guru Abhimanyu Gouda being given a cheque of Rs.30,000 for his treatment and (right) his disciple Panchali Gouda.

A strange bond:Bed-ridden Bharat Leela guru Abhimanyu Gouda being given a cheque of Rs.30,000 for his treatment and (right) his disciple Panchali Gouda.  

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Setting a fine example of the Indian guru-shishya tradition in this modern era, Panchali Gouda, female disciple of a bed-ridden folk dance guru Abhimanyu Gouda, has taken up the charge of treatment and care of her guru, when even his near and dear ones have deserted him.

Panchali now also leads the Bharat Leela folk dance troupe, set up by her guru Abhimanyu. During the days she takes care of her guru, who is admitted in Bhanjanagar hospital in Ganjam district of Odisha and collects money for his treatment. During the nights, she leads the troupe to perform Bharat Leela shows to earn and keep the troupe alive.

Speaking to The Hindu , Panchali says she gets contracts for 10 to 15 shows every month, which dwindle during monsoon months. After deducting all the expenses, she manages to earn Rs.1,000 to 1,200 per show but spends most of this money on Abhimanyu’s treatment. “As a disciple, I am child of my guru. How can I desert him when he is suffering and his own family has deserted him,” she said.

Her efforts have started to show results. Recently, the District Culture Department presented a cheque of Rs. 30,000 for the treatment. Some philanthropic organisations too have come out to provide help. “My guru suffers from multiple disorders including liver problem and extreme diabetes. His proper treatment can only be done at a major hospital which will cost more than Rs.1.5 lakh. I have not lost hope and will continue to arrange funds through my small savings from shows as well as various organisations,” Panchali said.

Abhimanyu was born in Buguda block of Ganjam district. His interest in Bharat Leela folk theatre made him start training when he was only seven-year-old. His focussed attention made him a much-acclaimed folk dance master. His family deserted him because they were opposed to his involvement in Bharat Leela because it did not provide enough income. He started living at Jhadbhum of Jagananthprasad block. Panchali had become his disciple 12 years ago while she was in her teens. She too had fought against social stigma to take up folk dance as her passion and profession.

For the past few years Panchali has been looking after Abhimanyu at Jhadbhum. Around four months ago, Abhimanyu became completely bed-ridden and all his friends deserted him.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 7:38:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/gurushishya-tradition-is-alive-here/article8469138.ece

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