Mangaluru: Hit by lockdown, visually-impaired artistes forced to sell phenyl for a living

Abhijith N Kolpe
Daijiworld Media Network – Mangaluru

Mangaluru, Nov 22: While there is much talk on businesses suffering due to the coronavirus pandemic, little is spoken about small-time artistes and performers who have been dealt a heavy blow by the sudden stoppage of cultural events and tours. Many of them have been forced to take up lowly jobs to make ends meet.

In one such case, a group of talented visually-impaired artistes, who used to travel around the state and inspire many with their musical performances, are now selling phenyl and soap water to sustain a living.

Shri Sharada Blind Singers' Association of Kanthinagar, Sringeri Ashraya colony, Chikkamagaluru is a group of 15 members comprising artistes who are visually-impaired and are from different districts of Karnataka.

Over the past four years, they have performed in streets all over the state. However, the lockdown has put them in dire straits as they no longer have any programme or opportunity to perform on the streets. To be able to afford a square meal, they have resorted to selling phenyl and soap water at a nominal price. The lockdown proved to be a strenuous task for the artistes as they could not travel and organize any kind of music shows.

Four years ago when they reached Mangaluru they had stayed in a lodge for six months. Later, a kind-hearted person provided them with a rented house at Padil near Mahadevi Bajana Mandir.

Vice-president of the group Krishna told Daijiworld, "People in Mangaluru are very helpful. Whenever we require any help for transportation to reach our destination, we receive plenty of assistance. Once we get to know the landmark we travel on our own, be it via bus, car or auto. Our group consists of talented artistes who are well-versed with tabla, keyboard etc. We sing songs in different languages including Tulu and entertain the audience. During our street performances, the audience helps us in funding and invites us to conduct another programme."

However, the lockdown was hard to get through. "At the time of lockdown, it was an uphill task for us to move around and our programmes could not be conducted, which hampered our income. Local organizations have helped us by providing us with kits. As days passed, it was turning out to be a nightmare to make a living. We had learnt how to make phenyl and soap water during our school days. For the past two months, we have been selling phenyl and soap water to people. We faced hardship to arrange house rent which was unpaid for the last three months," he added.

"Locals helped us find the materials used in making phenyl and soap water. So accordingly we started making and selling them in the market. Phenyl costs Rs 50 per bottle and the soap water is priced at Rs 60. Since we could not find any other way to earn income, we sustain ourselves by selling these products. We began distributing the products in local places and even in police stations. Also, during our performances the public could buy our products, so that helped us," said Krishna.

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Comment on this article

  • Rohit, N R i

    Mon, Nov 23 2020

    Dear sir
    I would like to pay their pending rent.
    Please let me know the details. I will arrange for the payment.

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alwyn, Mangalore

    Sun, Nov 22 2020

    Medical experts have raised concern over the use of phenyl cleaners for their adverse impact on health.

    Dr. SJS Luthra, a pediatrician, said phenyl cleaners used to mop floors and scrub bathrooms, kitchens contained chemical compounds such as phenols and carbolic acid. These corrosive substances were toxic to respiratory and circulatory systems and directly affected the central nervous system, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and blood vessels. Phenyl poisoning can occur when phenols come in contact with the skin or eyes or when they are inhaled or swallowed.
    Tribune News Service, Ludhiana, May 22

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Santan Mascarenhas, Kinnigoli/Bangalore

    Sun, Nov 22 2020

    A 35-year-old unemployed man allegedly killed his father, an employee of Central Coal Fields Limited (CCL) in Jharkhand's Ramgarh to get a job in the PSU (Public sector undertakings) on compassionate ground, police said on Sunday. Police claimed that elder son of Ram confessed during interrogation that he slit the throat of his father to get a CCL job. As per provisions of CCL, legal dependent of an employee would be given a job if the employee die during his service tenure, police said.

    In India, son killed his father to get a job.

    DisAgree Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rita, Germany

    Mon, Nov 23 2020

    Santhan Mascarenhas Kinnigoli,since son killed his father,did he succeed to get a job ?Or killing was only made him still on the roads?Very tragical and horrible.Second wish to know ,does Govt.doesnt give any help to such impaired people ?why should they go to sell the Phenyl ,which also has its own side effects on health.sad situation.

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Sun, Nov 22 2020

    As per Modi's advise Graduates are selling Pakoda's ...

    DisAgree [7] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse


Title : Mangaluru: Hit by lockdown, visually-impaired artistes forced to sell phenyl for a living


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