TAMIL NADU

This villupattu artiste now sells cassava

Out of options:Thangamani buys cassava roots from Kottar market and sells them on the roadside in Pattasalianvilai.

Out of options:Thangamani buys cassava roots from Kottar market and sells them on the roadside in Pattasalianvilai.  

In the Tamil month of Aadi , Thangamani, a villupattu artiste from Kanniyakumari district, would usually be singing songs in praise of folk deities on Tuesdays and Fridays. But the lockdown has forced him to take up a job, which he would not have otherwise.

He now sells cassava ( maravallikizhangu ) on the roadside to earn a livelihood.

“Normally, I will have programmes in the southern districts, except on Sundays and Wednesdays. My troupe has seven members and we would have programmes for 20 days. The pandemic has turned my life upside down,” said Mr. Thangamani, whose troupe Subaragam is popular in the southern districts.

As he has to take care of his ailing parents, Mr. Thangamani decided to sell tapioca. He buys cassava roots from Kottar market and sells them on the roadside in Pattasalianvilai. His troupe members are eking out a livelihood as daily wagers.

“I regularly buy 30 kg of cassava roots. If I am able to sell all of it, I earn Rs. 400 and get Rs. 300 as my share. The income is nothing when compared to the remuneration I get from villupattu singing. But I am left with no option,” said Mr. Thangamani, who performed 24 hours at a college in Tiruchi and got the title Kalamamani .

The income is nothing when compared to the remuneration I get from villupattu singing. But I am left with no option

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