Qawwals in dire straits amid corona pandemic

Coronavirus has impacted the qawwals and artistes associated with them in a big way given the challenging circumstances posed by the pandemic.

The qawwals say the Central and state governments should think about the plight of the artistes and help them to tide over the situation.

Due to corona, all the qawwals and the artistes working with them have nothing to do except sit at home for the last six months. The qawwals say that some artistes have been forced to work as labourers and if the government does not help them then the legacy of the qawwals would end.

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Delhi’s famous qawwal Yusuf Khan Nizami told IANS, “We have been performing qawwali since the age of 7. I have also done programmes in many countries. There are 10 persons in our group. Due to corona, the situation is grim, not only qawwals but all other artistes have been affected.”

“In any state of India you will find qawwals and they get to do only four programmes in a month and sometimes not even one.”

“We did our last programme on February 29 and have been sitting at home since then. There are many qawwals in Delhi. However, there are some artistes who also work with other groups to earn a living,” Nizami added.

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The Sabri Sufi Brothers group from Ajmer Sharif, Rajasthan told IANS, “We have been performing qawwali for the last 800 years. At present, it is the 24th generation and generation after generation has been performing qawwali.”

–IANS, By Mohammad Suaib

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