Musicians struggle to stay afloat in Ctg
With no income for over six months, instrumentalists in port city are passing their days amid serious financial crisis as all sorts of social and cultural programmes have remained stopped since March due to the ongoing pandemic.
Most of these musicians depend on the money they make through performing at various events round the year.
"I have finished all my savings in the last six months," said Piplu Dutta, an octopad player. "I don't know what to do… Like me, many instrumentalists are passing their days in uncertainty," he told The Daily Star, adding, "We have not got any assistance from the government."
Masud Parvez Lavlu, a keyboard player, said he used to perform in at least 50 programmes per month in peak seasons and around 20 programmes in off seasons.
"At first I thought everything will be alright in three to four months… I have already finished the money I had. At 45, it is very tough to change my profession," he added.
Artist Arko Chowdhury said, "Guitar was my passion and I pursued that and became a guitarist. Though I am a graduate, I did not try to look for other jobs… I was content with what I had and a career in music industry."
"But this pandemic has changed everything… I don't know how I will survive in the days to come," said a worried Arko.
Sources said around 500 instrumentalists in the city have been passing days amid financial crisis for over six months.
Asim Chanda Bappy, general secretary of Chattogram Jantro Shilpi Sangstha, said most musicians are from middle and low-income families who are solely dependent on the income from performing at events.
"We are trying to stand by them. We have given assistance to 150 artistes for 100 days since March. Besides, we are selling daily essentials at a cheaper rate in 10 points in the city where some 30 musicians have been provided with work."
He also urged the government to extend support to the jobless instrumentalists who are now struggling to survive.