Berhampur, Oct 1 (LocalWire): Ganjam district administration has roped in folk artists for creating awareness among the people about COVID-19.
The folk dance groups, with limited artists, mainly staged their performances in the villages during the observation of Covid week-from September 24 to September 30.
As many as 274 folk dance groups have staged their performances in 482 out of 504 panchayats in the district during the week-long programme, sources said. One group was permitted to perform for a maximum of two to three times in a panchayat.
Popular folk dances like Dasakathia, Pala, Prahallad Natak, Bharat Leela, Jodi Sankha, Pasu Nurtya (Animal Dance), Danda Nata, Kandhei Nata (puppetry) etc. were performed to educate the people about the dos and don’ts to prevent the infection of the coronavirus.
Since folk art is a vital media to educate the people as well as to entertain the rural people, we roped in the folk artists to create awareness, said district collector Vijay Amruta Kulange.
Besides entertaining the villagers, they also spread the messages about the do and don’t during the pandemic period, he said.
With this, the folk artists who have lost their livelihood due to the pandemic will also earn some money.
“We will pay their remuneration through the block development officers after they submit their bills,” said the district’s in-charge cultural officer Shankarshan Patnaik. The folk artists have also expressed happiness over it.
“We have not performed any play in the last six months due to the lockdown and there was no earning during the period.
We are happy that the district administration has asked us to perform after nearly six months without work,” said Rajendra Patra, a conch blower of Badakushasthali.
The folk artists also staged their performance by abiding with the guidelines of the district authorities, which restricted more than five artists in a group.
“The people are told about the right way to wash hands, importance of maintaining social distancing, use of masks and gloves, and to cover their mouth with a cloth while coughing or sneezing etc.,” said Upendra Panigrahy, a Dasakathia artist.