Stage artistes, troupe musicians demand COVID-19 relief

Seek relaxations for temple festivals, socio-cultural events

Stage artistes and troupe musicians have sought financial relief from the State Government saying that the COVID-19 lockdown had affected their livelihood.

Carrying their music instrument and dressed up as various characters, the artistes who went to the Coimbatore Collectorate on Monday said the lockdown imposed in March 2020 had impacted their income in that they had no bookings to play at events or festivals. The Government should therefore come to their help by allowing functions or events to be held with COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and giving financial relief to their members, they said.

The stage artistes too placed a similar demand. The Kovai Mavatta Medai Nadana Kalaithurai Sangam treasurer Jayanthi Anandakumar said in a year, the artistes had bookings for only six months starting April, when many temple festivals were held.

The lockdown imposed by the Central Government in March 2020 had hit hard their livelihood. As the artistes were getting back on their feet, the new restriction imposed a couple of days ago had come as a blow.

Ms. Anandakumar said the State Government that had permitted 50% occupancy in cinemas and restricted entry in shopping malls and big shops should consider similar relaxations for temple festivals and other socio-cultural events.

The only relief that the Government had given the artistes was the ₹ 2,000 given to all PDS (ration) card holders, and the ₹ 5,000 it gave to artistes had not reached all.

Therefore, the Government should consider extending financial assistance to all registered artistes to help them overcome the impact of the second wave of COVID-19.

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