During Lockdown, Performing Arts Industry affected hardest

During Lockdown, Performing Arts Industry affected hardest

March 2020. India will remember this time of this year for many upcoming years. This is the time when everything changed for everyone. Corona Virus has hit various countries already and India registered its first positive case in the month of March. Due to saviour reactions and situations, Our Honourable PM Narendra modi immediately announces lockdown. Complete lockdown which includes all the working organizations, government sectors, all the industries and everything apart from basic necessity of human life such as groceries, milk, vegetables and medicines.

Lockdown extends day by day, month by month and all the sectors get affected by the same. Though it was for the safety of the people, it affected the economy as well as the routine life of almost all the people out there.

Like all the industries, one industry which never fails to amaze us also went down and HOW! The industry is PERFORMING ARTS INDUSTRY. Everyone in the country talks about all the sectors, take it business sectors, unemployment and private sector, government sector. But it’s so hard to find a light on this particular sector as well. This Lockdown is not limited to major cities as it affected the smallest part of any rural city as well. And that brings our thoughts to look out for the people who actually shattered down by this Pandemic.

Talking about affecting the people from the sector, it gets worse for the backstage people who handle the technical side of any projects or events. And it gets even worse for those people who just know this one thing and have been doing such work from the beginning.

Many people out there earn through live concerts and programs and even go to weddings, parties and perform there to earn wages through which they run their homes. We have come across many people and there will be a lot more people out there who face the same situation and it's getting hard day by day.

From many of these people, they had to choose some alternative to fulfil their daily expenses. While talking to such people, one common thing that came out is, Don't know anything else than my art. Never did anything else other than what I have been doing for the last 15 years and never thought that we will need to work like this. This explains how much these people love their work and their craft. Let's talk about such artists and their situation in this pandemic era.

Residing Ahmedabad, India.

If it was not like this lockdown and pandemic, I was about to go to the UK for the show and right now I would be completing the visa process. Kailash who is an octapad player for over 20 years chose the alternative as a cab (Ola) driver and started working on it as an Ola associated employee. He purchased a car back in a time when he was doing really well through his art and music industry and that helped him start off as an Ola driver.

Singer residing in Ahmedabad

This is the only thing I have learned and this is the only thing I know how to do and mastered myself over the years. Can't think of not doing it anymore if I get a chance. Prakash Raja who was into singing for almost all sorts of events, say it for corporate events, cultural events, Navratri nights and many more of it can not think about leaving this craft and work on anything else. He has been working in the industry for the last 25 Years. Prakash looks out for the other option of work from where he can earn some money. One of his friends was working in a handkerchief factory where he got the contract based daily jobs of stitching borders of handkerchiefs and getting daily wages of some amount based on how many handkerchiefs borders he completes.

Sunil Nimawat
Tabla Player residing in Rajkot

When I started the career, this is the only thing I knew and I have passion for, how can I not have been interested in working on this again. Sunil Nimavat, Rajkot based Tabla player who has been facing tough situations, started working in a construction site as a cantering worker with help and reference of his friend, but it got worse and he had to leave that work also because of his father’s illness. It is tough to survive without any work on hand. Also, in this lockdown his father was diagnosed by cancer and it brings up more hurdles to him in this pandemic situation.

These are just a 0.05% of the people we got into touch with and there are many more out there who are facing the same situation and opted out for any alternative profession in this tough situation. DRFPA works for the performing arts industry and this is the time where we support such artists to the fullest.

We are always looking for such artists who are suffering from such natural disasters and conditions where they want to work in the same field with the same passion but could not make it happen as the situation doesn't work out for them.

Yes, we can not give them work that they are doing, as we are not the event organizers or event managers. But what we can do is to help them out in this situation by supporting them in the way where they can at least stay connected to the art and work in the industry itself. As all of these artists are keen to connect with their art and they are also in the favour of working on it if they get a chance then why not? This project is to spread the awareness of these artists and such artists to the people who are into helping such causes.

We also look out constantly for such artists so that we can reach our helping hands to them and they can continue working what makes them happy and what they know best to do.

Resource of the artists - TOI
Conversation with artists - DRFPA