COVID Impact: From Sound Technician to Farmer and Now Penniless

Deep Saikia had to give up his sound system business and start farming to earn a livelihood but now with lockdown in place he has not market to sell his produce
COVID Impact: From Sound Technician to Farmer and Now Penniless

Jamugurihat: Meet Deep Saikia from Keranipam village of Jamugurihat, Assam. Till 2019 he was a sound technician doing shows and performance and earning a decent amount. He was doing pretty well. He had started his own business by the name Deep Sound Systems. At 30 something, Deep had become a small-time business entrepreneur of Jamugurihat.

Come 2020, like many others, for Deep too things changed completely. With COVID lockdown in place, functions, Bihu programmes and events coming to a complete halt, Deep was forced to pack up his sound equipment and look for an alternate earning source. From a small size local businessman, Deep was suddenly reduced to nothing.

Left with no option, Deep took up farming. He started tilling a plot of land. From a sound technician and self-employed businessman, Deep transformed himself to a farmer and an agripreneur. He started producing papayas, lemons, pumpkins, and other vegetables. He even started a pig and poultry farm.

"I had to pack all my stuff related to sound and music. And then I started agricultural activities. I have some papaya, lemon, banana, tomato, maize and chilli plants. I also started a pig farm with couple of pigs. But now though I have enough produce, I do not have a market. Most of my produce is going waste. Its rotting. Some we are feeding to the cows and pigs," an anxious-looking Deep said.

It is now sad to see all the produce rotting. Deep is hoping if the government could extend some help or the district administration can help him find a market for his produce.

Deep is not alone, there are thousands of artistes, technicians, make-up artists, sound engineers, lightmen who are going through difficult times since COVID pandemic broke out in 2020.

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Sentinel Assam