Carnatic musicians, instrument makers and others who depend on the music industry are among the many whose livelihood has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. With no clarity on when live events would resume, the Global Carnatic Musicians Association (GCMA) has come forward to help those in need.
Sudha Ragunathan, president of the association, says, “Many musicians are finding it difficult to make ends meet. So, we are supporting artistes and instrument makers for the months of April, May and June. Apart from our members, several rasikas, well-wishers and members from the student community have also contributed. We’ve collected around ₹14 lakh, and are aiming to collect ₹30-35 lakh.”
Thanjavur K Murugaboopathi, general secretary, says, “Some of us earn by taking classes online, but for a few others, like thavil and nadaswaram vidwans — who still teach in person — this is a difficult situation. The opportunity to perform at temples or weddings, too, is not available.” He says about 400 musicians have been provided with financial assistance. “We’ve given ₹5,000 for members and ₹2,000 for non-members. We have also contributed monthly provisions to 1,000 families who don’t belong to the music fraternity.”