Guwahati: Bikul Saikia, a well-known singer from Assam's Rangia, looking to offset losses during the coronavirus-triggered lockdown, has opened a nursery for an alternative source of income. This, Saikia believes, will also help other Rangia locals who have suffered losses during the lockdown, sustain themselves.
It is no secret that the coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown has dealt a debilitating blow to the entertainment industry not only in Assam or India but across the world. With movie production and live concerts being put on hold temporarily, and no end in sight to the current situation, Saikia decided to take matters into his own hands. "We artists did not have any source of income after the lockdown was clamped. We could not conduct programmes, and the condition of the entertainers is absolutely deplorable. So, I thought of opening a nursery so that 10-12 families in the neighbourhood can sustain themselves by selling materials that they will be able to sell in some other place."
The entertainer-class earns a significant amount of their yearly income from the live-shows that are performed during and after the Bihu period. This year, however, the lockdown played a dampener, and 'social distancing' meant that the hopes of the entertainers to pocket some money during the lockdown were dashed in an instant. Meanwhile, Saikia laments that the Government has not provided any relief to the ailing entertainer-class in the state. "So, we have to take care of our own selves. We are yet to receive any aid. Whatever we are earning, we are earning through our sheer grit and determination. If we are selling some for 3 rupees, we are earning 1 rupee from it. That is the current state of affairs."
Saikia's initiative to open the nursery, christened as 'Green Zone', has been welcomed by locals, many of whom have now joined him in his efforts to make flowers bloom in these times of sorrow.
Also Watch: Get Set Global: Assamese in the UK coping with the Pandemic Covid-19: Assam singer opens nursery to offset losses caused by lockdown