Bhubaneswar: Odisha Assembly Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro today issued a ruling to the government to look into the problems faced by ‘Jatra’ (opera) artistes in the State.
Patro issued the ruling during ‘Zero Hour’ today when the issue over the plight of Jatra artistes was raised in the House by Congress MLA from Jeypore Tara Prasad Bahinipati.
The Jeypore MLA told the House that the condition of jatra artistes was miserable because of the restrictions imposed on the audience size due to Covid-19 pandemic.
“The plight of the artistes is miserable. They on the streets, they have lost their bread and butter. I am thanking the Speaker for issuing a ruling on the issue,” said Bahinipati speaking to reporters outside the House.
Similar sentiments were also expressed by the Leader of the Opposition Pradipta Naik on the plight of the performing artistes.
“Performing artistes have lost their livelihood, be it a musician, an opera artiste or a singer eking out a living by performing. If the situation has improved, the government should permit them to hold performances albeit with a limited audience. The government should plan something for their livelihood,” said Naik speaking to reporters outside the Assembly.
Members of Jatra Kalakar O Karmachari Sangh, Odisha, an association of Jatra artistes and employees are on fast-unto-death and mass dharna at the Lower PMG square here demanding fulfillment of their two-point charter of demands.
They are on dharna since yesterday.
“The government has not been allowing the holding of Jatra for the last 11 months. We are in a miserable state, unable to fend our families so we are on dharna. Unless the government allows holding Jatra with at least 2,000 persons in the audience we will hold demonstrations across the State,” said a Jatra artiste sitting on dharna at Lower PMG square.