Panaji: Goa’s professional theatre and other cultural groups have claimed to have faced several set back with the COVID-19 restrictions as they had to cancel all their shows scheduled during Ganesh Chaturthi festivities.
Ten day long Ganesh Chaturthi festival provides platform for several drama and other cultural groups to present their shows.
“My theatre group used to perform at least 40 to 45 shows during Ganesh Chaturthi time. We are blank this time as there are no bookings due to COVID-19 restrictions,” said Rajdeep Naik, promoter of Kala Chetana Volvoi, one of the oldest theatre group.
Known for its epic dramas like “Firangi Fataas” making statement on mother tongue as Medium of Instruction, Naik said that the entire industry looks at a bleak future as there is no certainty over when will actually the cultural activities begin in the State.
The restrictions on gatherings due to COVID-19 pandemic has resultes in several Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav groups to curtail their celebrations to mere one and half day.
Naik said that there are at least 25-30 professional theatre groups which are dependent on Ganesh Chaturthi season to launch a new play or exhibit the old popular dramas to the public.
State Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude said that the State government is fully aware about the problems faced by the artists, but is helpless due to COVID-19 related restrictions.
“We are hoping that the cultural industry will resume by October-November this year. It is entirely dependent on SOPs that would be released by the union government on August 30,” he added.
He ruled out the possibility of providing any financial assistance to the groups.
Naik said that the artists have made representations before chief minister Pramod Sawant, Union AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik and Gaude in the past.
“We had appealed the government to get us accommodated in various state run institutions like Doordarshan and All India Radio. Government can also use our art for creating awareness on COVID-19,” he said.