You may not be able to see the effects of a partial curfew in terms of COVID-19, but you can definitely feel it.
Philanthropists’ “generous donations” to visually impaired artists have declined. They sing songs at road shows around town to make a living. Nowadays, they find it difficult to achieve both goals, as people have rarely stopped at the roadside lately.
“Even if I sing 10 songs in a row, we can’t pool enough money to pay for a square meal a day,” says Yohan, a singer. He is one of the many visually impaired artists who rely on roadside music shows.
You will visit the city from various locations across the state. They work with various voluntary organizations or associations to help them make the necessary arrangements to organize the shows. Yohan, a native of Vissannapeta, helps the Dreams Foundation for the Blind.
The group consists of approximately 18 members, including graduates, pre-university and college graduates. Nageswara Rao, a native of Macherla, is one of them. “I’m a graduate, but couldn’t find a job. It didn’t discourage me. I don’t want to rely on others and burden them. Now singing songs is a way of life for us, ”he says.
“Before the lockdown, we connected to society through our songs. The visually impaired singers received decent donations. The lockdown has cut our lives and our earnings. The luck that the situation returned to normal was short-lived. Now the singers can neither return home for a dime nor stay here, ”he says.
Whenever these blind artists visit Vijayawada, Guru Satyam, who owns a car, expands the collaboration by taking them in his auto rickshaw and helps organize microphones by connecting with local people. These singers don’t sit still after a performance. They keep practicing new songs in the accommodation. “Based on your request, I am downloading karaoke from the Internet. It helps them sing new songs, ”he says.
According to information, the singers are investing between £ 2,000 and £ 3,000 in the sound system and the car. The income used to be decent. Although the expenses have not decreased, the income is not enough.
Before the lockdown, they organized the evening shows near Rythu Bazaars, Bandar Road and Eluru Road, near KS Vyas Traffic Complex, Autonagar, Pinnamaneni Polyclinic Street and other areas. Now the number of orchestras on the roadside has decreased. There are 3 to 4 teams that actively organize the road shows, say the singers.