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Discontent discernible despite colourful attires!

The least we could say about them is their ebullience going a waste. They dress up to entertain and rated as the folk dancers, they are doing a commendable job of propagating the folk culture of Haryana. But their latent melancholy is revealed only after having a brief dialogue with them.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2006 00:56 IST

The least we could say about them is their ebullience going a waste. They dress up to entertain and rated as the folk dancers, they are doing a commendable job of propagating the folk culture of Haryana. But their latent melancholy is revealed only after having a brief dialogue with them.

A group of 20 artistes from Haryana were here in Allahabad for three days to present the folk dances of their region. Led by Sheesh Pal Singh Chauhan and his wife, the group presented an ideal picture of youths showing the way to others to follow their footsteps. However, the discontent was starkly written on their face.

"To be frank, if we are not supported financially now, then folk artistes will definitely be a thing of the past after a few years," said Chauhan.

"With as low as Rs 200 per performance per artiste, it is quite impossible to think about our survival. We are hardly able to eke out a living, and it will be a hoax to expect us to provide good education to our children. There is no way out," he said.

Interestingly, most of the youths belonged to the age group of early 20s and still receiving their education. "We have understood that since past ten years, there has not been any increase in the incentives and according to the latest information that we have heard, it will be increased by Rs 50. What difference will it make to our overall financial condition is obvious," added Chauhan.

The group has been to Andaman, Dubai, Singapore besides the short tours to nearly all the corners of the country. "I entered this field 14 years ago while learning under the tutelage of my guru Mahaveer Guddu. Since past seven years, I have been carrying on with a hope that steps would be taken for our development and we will get the opportunity to lead a decent life. But it seems, we will always be taken for granted," he added.

Most of the members of the group have taken up tutions as their optional means of survival when they are not performing in any festival or event.

The artistes present a lovely scene when they perform on stage while donning their traditional attires. And their performances are based on the special occasions such as marriages, harvest etc. "The question is still unanswered as to who will come forward and lead the way after knowing about our actual condition and the hardships we are facing now," remarked Chauhan.

First Published: Jan 09, 2006 00:56 IST