“Corona pandemic have brought us to streets. Unfortunately we and many other traditional folk artists are facing serious problems as all the programmes they were performing came to a grinding half. The situation has compelled us to virtually beg for survival”. Yadavrao Waghe, who was a van driver and also a folk artist was seen moving on the street with one of his colleagues.
Waghe, following an accident got stuck to wheelchair. One source of earning as a driver was locked. He, however, started playing ‘sambal’ (traditional percussion instrument), singing ‘goldhal’ (devotional traditional songs) on streets, with a very senior ‘Ektari’ player.
On enquiry about his this condition, Waghe immediately took out his visiting card and said he can still perform on stage, with jagaran, gondhal, waghya murali (all devotional folk art forms of Maharashtra).
Although the government has been making huge announcement about protection of traditional art and financial support to the folk artists, nothing actually is actually done, he said.
The grim face of the artist, now a beggar, turned enthusiastic upon enquiry about his original profession. Some onlookers also praised his voice and requested him to present a few more.
Waghe might have earned a few rupees more than his expectation, but he was more happy as someone enquired about his art. He stated that festival season for them in the last two years, passed away without any kind of earning. For some time villagers supported them by donating food grains. However that was not enough to feed entire family and co-workers. Some of them are very seniors and now cannot undertake physical work.
The condition of folk artists, particularly those performing in Zadipatti area of Vidarbha, is very bad. They were earning for entire year, during festival season. All those programmes could not be held for the last two seasons.
Not only state government, but also the society will have to think of preserving the tradition and protecting the artists.