Artistes’ welfare during pandemic
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Artistes’ welfare during pandemic

July 6, 2020

Mysore/Mysuru: Ganabharathi has been a familiar landmark in the cultural landscape of Mysuru for the last four decades. It was registered as a cultural institution in the year 1978 for the promotion of “Fine Arts and other Performing Arts”. It has a strength of 850 Life Members on its roster now. 

A music and dance School was also added in 1992 in its own Veene Seshanna Bhavan in Kuvempunagar (Presently it has a strength of about 350 students). 

Apart from Karnatak vocal music and Bharatanatyam and other instrumental music such as veena, violin, flute, mridanga, sugama sangeetha and keyboard are taught by 11 dedicated teachers headed by a Principal. 

A monthly bulletin ‘TILLANA’  containing all its activities and very interesting articles related to music and dance is published. It could be accessed on www.ganabharathi.com for all the previous issues too.

At least 3 to 4 Music/ Dance concerts in the Sabha were held without any gate fee right from the beginning for the benefit of the Connoisseurs. But with the present condition of COVID-19 all the activities have come to a standstill.

Listeners are not able to come to the live concerts and artistes are not able to perform either. 

To overcome this, Ganabharathi has started live  streaming  of the music and dance concerts from their respective residences during total lockdown period. The artistes are both veterans and young upcoming talents, responding to the call of Ganabharathi. 

It may be mentioned here that a few of the senior artistes politely declined to accept our nominal fee. Presently it is done with accompanying artistes following adequate social distancing. It is broadcasted on Facebook every Tuesday and Saturday. 

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Such concerts have received very good response even from global connoisseurs. These programmes are for an hour and half duration and could be seen logging on to https://www.facebook.com/ganabharati/ on Tuesdays and Saturdays live between 6 pm and 7.30 pm or on any other day as they are recorded  and available in archives of same website. 

Ganabharathi is the forerunner of bringing these events in the virtual format in Mysuru.

Several artistes and musical instrument artisans, who were mainly depending on their art, have become jobless and as such are in dire straits now. 

In an attempt to help such individuals, Ganabharathi has identified several artistes and is able to distribute Rs.5,000 each to 16 of them for the past two months, raising donations from philanthropic donors.

Some donors have come forward to give food bags containing groceries, rice, dhal, sugar, groundnut oil and more to the needy artistes.

One such programme was held at Veene Seshanna Bhavana on July 3 and 25 bags were distributed to artistes mainly belonging to Nagaswara and the accompanying artistes. This event was sponsored by ThoughtFocus Technologies, a Mysuru-based company. It was done following strict rules laid down by the Government. 

Ganabharathi is looking forward to more number of donors participating in such programmes as the same situation may last for an indefinite period and so the saga of cultural activity can continue offering a balm during this stressful period.

Ganabharathi, headed by Dr. C.G. Narasimhan as its President, believes in the quote by Orson Welles: “Ask not what you can do for the country. Ask what’s for lunch.”

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