One of the main attractions of Dasara procession is the live performances by folk artistes who come from different parts of the state. Over a thousand artistes perform on the five kilometer stretch of the Jamboo Savari showcasing a wide variety of culture, tradition and talent and thus providing a visual treat to lakhs of people. But, little has been known that the honararium they receive is nothing but peanuts and what makes them keep a date without the Naada Habba without fail is the blessings of Goddess Chamundeshwari and appreciation of the people.
As many as 35 troupes, consisting of 15 to 20 members take part in the event. Artistes from across state arrive one day in advance to city. Each artiste is paid a meager Rs 500 for taking part in procession. They have to take care of the costumes, make-up, etc. within the meager amount and will have nothing left with them when they are back home. The bus fare will be provided separately.
But the artistes say that there are instances where they have failed to catch the public transport and have hired private vehicle. As a result they have to shell out more money from their pockets toward the personalised transport to perform in the Dasara activities.
Folk Artistes Federation President L Mahadevappa Udigala said that for the last six years the pleas made by the artistes have not been heeded to. “Neither are we paid with good monetary remuneration nor provided with proper arrangements to stay in the city during Dasara. Though taking part every year in the Dasara activities has become quite expensive, we are emotionally, attached with 'Naada Habba and cant miss it.'
Mahadevappa accompanied with his troupe carrying Nandi Dhwaja of 125 kg is participating in the procession from last 46 years.
Nandi Dhwaja artiste Mallesh, explaining the problems faced by them said: “Food and accommodation for men will be arranged at Nanjaraja Bhaddur Choultry, while for women at government schools or lodges. Coming from far off places we face lot of difficulties without proper sanitation and accommodation.”
The artistes have submitted memorandum to District in-charge Minister V Srinivasa Prasad, requesting Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to hike their remuneration to Rs 1000 and also bear all the other expenses. They also urged to appoint artistes for Dasara sub-committees.