Yakshagana artists struggling to receive financial aid from the State

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Published on October 1, 2021 by

Many Yakshagana artists in Bengaluru are not receiving financial aid from the State Government. Lack of digital literacy, age restrictions, and inadequate work experience being some of the reasons for this.

Bengaluru: Many Yakshagana artists in Bengaluru have not been receiving financial aid from the State government. The Dhan Sahaya Scheme was introduced in 2020 to provide Rs.3000 as financial aid for artists, but artists say that many of them cannot avail its benefits.

Artists below 35 years of age are ineligible for the scheme. Besides, as the procedure for application is digital, such schemes often stay inaccessible. Karthik Dhareshwar who is a Yakshagana musician confirms, “Age should be 35 and above, and experience should be twenty or ten years, like that. Most of the artists are not educated also. They are not comfortable with the recent technologies, and most of the schemes are now online.”

According to the data from Kannada and Culture Department, the government has already sanctioned nearly 15 crores to various independent artists and Yakshagana organizations, but things appear different at the grass root level. Rakshitha Shetty, a senior Yakshagana artist, described that how a delay in updates post application concerned her. She said that artists apply for the aid on the Seva Sindhu app, and upload all the necessary documents, still they don’t receive any updates. And by the time they do, it gets too late. This disappoints them the most.

It is not just the eligibility criteria or any delay that is a hurdle for the applicants. These artists also feel that the amount they receive is insufficient. “Two-three thousand is enough not even for one month. There are many schemes from Central and State Governments also, but it is not approaching properly to the artists. Those who are in middle, they will make use of it.”, said Karthik.

Considering the effect of pandemic on this art form, such aid becomes important, as it is difficult for many young artists to earn their living. “There was a time when there were no shows and we had no other source of income.”, said Rakshitha Shetty as she remembered the peak of pandemic. So, the demand for an attention to such issues extends even more.

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