WARANGAL: Folk artistes, who had played a major role in spreading awareness on various welfare programmes, are nowhere to be found to do the same for Covid-19. District officials claim folk artistes are ready to launch an awareness campaign but they do not have funding from the State or district administration for the same.
In rural and agencies areas of the erstwhile Warangal district, people are neither aware of the symptoms of Covid-19 not of the preventive measure against it. Villagers think that Covid-19 virus is spreading only in Hyderabad.
District administration officials have underlined the need to create awareness among the people on the preventive measures of Covid-19. They have released posters and pamphlets on the preventive measures provided by the health department. These have been pasted on Gram Panchayat offices and Mandal Revenue offices in the districts.
However, Warangal district cultural department officials said that folk artistes can help highlight the preventive measures in the villages. These folk artistes had played a key role in campaigning extensively in villages across the undivided Andhra Pradesh during the agitation for a separate State. The folk artistes, through dramas, explained to the people that a separate Telangana state is needed to protect neellu, nidhulu, niyamakalu (water, funds and employment).
“Troupes are ready to launch a cultural campaign to educate masses on basic protective measures against the deadly virus. However, there are no funds from the district administration authorities and State Cultural Department for awareness campaign on Covid-19 in the villages,” said a district official.
When contacted, Warangal Urban District Collector Rajiv Gandhi Hanumanthu was not available for comment. He was present at the CM’s high-level meeting on an action plan for COVID-19. Folk artists are recruited under contract basis to create awareness on welfare schemes. They are paid `24,500 every month by the Cultural Department.
Roped in to create awareness
Folk artistes are recruited under contract basis to create awareness on State and Central schemes. They are paid `24,500 every month by TS Cultural Department. Presently, 46 artistes are working in Warangal Urban, 26 in Warangal Rural, eight in Jangaon, six in Mulugu, 20 in Mahabubabad and nine artistes in Jayashankar Bhupalpally district