With the ban on public gatherings persevering with with no reduction in sight, the stalwarts of road theatre in Punjab have needed to take up odd jobs to eke out a dwelling.
The artistes who within the pre-Covid world carried out road performs with a powerful political or social message have fallen on laborious instances.
25-year-old Balwinder Changaliwala, who’s related to the Folks’s Theatre, Lehragaga led by Punjabi actor Samuel John, has sought work beneath the Mahatma Gandhi Employment Assure Act (MGNREGA). Within the paddy season he had additionally undertaken grunt work within the fields.
“We used to carry out performs in villages and faculties. Our performs had sturdy and pertinent messages for society. I discovered my job very rewarding. The versatile hours allowed me time to check,” says Balwinder, who’s pursuing a grasp in arts diploma in Punjabi at SUS Authorities School, Sunam.
Satpal Bangan, who runs Folks’s Artwork, a Patiala-based theatre group of 10 -12 members, says that the lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic had compelled his crew members to take up odd jobs regardless of being well-qualified.
“Most of our members maintain bachelor of schooling (BEd), trainer eligibility check, and grasp of philosophy (MPhil) levels,” says Bangan.
Punjabi actor Samuel John performing a road play in village in Punjab.
ARTISTES MENTAL HEALTH AFFECTED
“Our group usually carried out in rural areas of Patiala, Sangrur, Mansa, Bathinda and Fatehgarh Sahib. We might additionally promote books through the occasion. Nevertheless, we’re struggling to remain afloat. Most of our crew members, regardless of their levels, are working as labourers, whereas certainly one of them is promoting greens. The Covid-19 disaster has not simply affected our funds however has additionally taken a toll on our psychological well being,” he stated.
Actor and theatre artiste Samuel John says, “Road performs are straight linked to the individuals. Nevertheless, when an artiste has to avoid his viewers, the hole impacts performers psychologically.”
“The Covid-19 pandemic has created an enormous hole between the general public and artistes. Typically the livelihood of performers will depend on performs. The pandemic has affected artistes economically and psychologically,” stated John.
SOCIETY RISES TO ARTISTES AID
Bangan stated, “We used to carry out a median three performs a day. After we fell on laborious instances, locals supplied us wheat and cash but it surely wasn’t sufficient to outlive. Lately I promote books on-line by means of social media.”
Harwinder Diwana, who runs the Chetna Kala Kender Barnala theatre group, stated members of the Bharatiya Kisan Union had held some gatherings prior to now week the place his crew had carried out.
“Undoubtedly, some members of my crew are going by means of a monetary disaster. Nevertheless, when an artiste works for the society, individuals come ahead to assist them. I, too, was supplied assist through the pandemic,” stated Diwana.
Whereas the Punjab authorities has permitted taking pictures of movies and music movies amid the Covid-19 disaster, with the caveat that they comply with security tips, these concerned in producing road performs are ready for the state of affairs to enhance.