The struggle for food and livelihood amid the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has worst hit the poor and downtrodden class.

The Dibrugarh-based ‘New Guria Circus and Jadu’ group, one of the oldest circus groups of the state with their 28 performers and crew, is currently stranded in Assam’s Kokrajhar district are is starving for food as they have run out of funds.

The workers and performers have remained stranded at Balajan Tinali in Kokrajhar since they were asked to stop their shows in the wake of rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.

“We are facing revenue losses and financial crisis, and had to borrow money to sustain the circus by mortgaging my van, but after the lockdown, dead bells have started ringing over us with dark clouds of uncertainty looming large,” said the owner of the Circus, Babul Islam.

Kokrajhar revenue circle officer Dipan Barman, taking cognizance of the fact, has extended his helping hand by providing bags of rations and food items to the group.

“It was the call of my duty and social responsibility and after it came to my notice that the members of the circus group are stranded and were struggling with no rations and funds, I sought the co-ordination of Kokrajhar Merchants Association and they were happy to help them,” said Barman.

“I also provided packets of biscuits and chocolates to the children of the female performers,” Barman told this correspondent.

“Our rations ended couple of days back and since then, we were forced to seek help of the locals. We are grateful to the Kokrajhar district administration for extending support with rations and vegetables at this hour of crisis,” said, Rubia Begum, the mother of two, who works in the circus.

“Even the owner of our circus is unable to travel due to the lockdown,” she said.

Stating that the lockdown left them with no money, Rubia said, “We understand that the circumstances are unavoidable but I request the government to think of performing artistes like us.”

Shajid Khan

Shajid Khan is Northeast Now Correspondent in Udalguri. He can be reached at: itsshajidkhan@gmail.com