Folk musicians fall silent as Covid lockdown weighs down Barmer

The government said they would get Rs 2,500 if they sent videos of their performances, but many artists don't even have smartphones.

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Hundreds of folk artistes, mostly from the Muslim community in western Rajasthan's Barmer are struggling to make ends meet. The pandemic lockdowns have pushed many of them into poverty and left them dependent on free rations distributed by the local administration for sustenance.

In an apparent attempt to relieve their hardship, the Rajasthan government told these artistes to send videos of their performances and announced that they would get Rs 2,500 per video if it passes official review. The government ignored the fact that most of these artists have limited access to smartphones and the internet. So, the folk artistes continue to suffer.

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