Kushalnagar: The dark clouds that had overshadowed this year’s Dasara celebrations over the boycott threat of Mahouts and Kavadis have cleared as the State Government has hiked the salaries. The strike has been withdrawn now and all the elephant handlers will participate in the festivities that will begin with Gajapayana on Aug. 7.
In a late-evening order yesterday, the State Government has increased the salaries of Mahouts and Kavadis along with the salaries of many other people working in specialised tasks in Karnataka.
As per the order, all the hikes will come into effect from Aug. 1, 2022. Now, Mahouts will get a pay scale of Rs. 21,400 to Rs. 42,000 as against the earlier Rs. 18,600 to Rs. 32,000. Kavadis will get Rs. 18,600 to Rs. 32,000 as against the earlier Rs. 17,000 to Rs. 28,950. The Akhila Karnataka Mahouts and Kavadis Association has withdrawn the boycott call and accordingly, the Mahouts and Kavadis of Elephant Camps at Dubare, Mathigodu, Ramapura and H.D. Kote have been asked to participate in Dasara. However, the Association members said that the Government has not agreed to their demand for a risk allowance as this is a high-risk job.