Jatra artistes passing days without food

None got relief in last 3 months


Although the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that no one would die without food and

Medicare facilities following global pandemic coronavirus, the artistes and other staff of the open theatre parties, better known as Jatra Dal, have been passing hard times. Most of them have been going almost without food as no relief or financial assistance they were given in the last three months.

“Not only the artistes and staff of the drama industry, but also the whole industry is now under threat”, said the artistes and other staff of the industry. 

Talking to the Roving Corres­pondent of Bangladesh Post, the artistes had expressed their grave concern how they had been passing time now, who are involved with open drama in Shailkupa upazila of Jhenidah and Sripur of Magura districts.

Selim Reza, a renowned hero in Jatra industry when contacted said finding no other alternative for survival with the family members; he had been working as a bicycle mechanic in his locality. But income from the profession is not enough to manage the daily bread. 

Bangladesh Jatra Unnayan Parishad president in Shailkupa upazila unit Tahajuddin Member said that the number of professional drama artistes in the upazila is about 50. The artistes were passing hard days during corona virus crisis. To have some assistance from the government, he had submitted a list to upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) in Shailkupa Saiful Islam for 35 members. 

UNO  assured him of providing assistance at an early date considering the pitiable condition of the artistes. But the artistes yet did not receive any relief materials or financial assistance so far.Kutubul Alam Shahin, convener of Bangladesh Jatra Malik Samity (open drama owner association), also the proprietor of Chaituli Opera Party in Sripur Upazila in Magura, when contacted said the artistes of drama had been leading inhuman life. 

The COVID 19 pandemic had created a new crisis on the industry as well as its over 1.5 lakh people involved in the activities throughout the country.

He said the number of Jatra Parties in the country was 101 which were given registrations from Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Most of the parties established in Jashore, Jhenidah, Narail, Magura, Mymenshingh, Netrakona, Manik­ganj, Shyamgar, Satkhira Sadar, Kushtia and some other districts. 

The artistes make them fit with colour make up for any individual character and play role focusing the society or state, historical events etc. through the platforms during night. It reflects the characters on the mirror in the heart of the people. 

But the players are not well at all in their homes or in the society when they were with untied financial troubles. “The daughter of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu, Sheikh Hasina is also Prime Minster should interfere with the issue to save the industry and its artistes and others for their survival without delay”, Kutubul Alam Shahin said.