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A poor folk artiste who thrives on people�s love

By Kabita Duarah

GUWAHATI, June 21 � Though folk art has of late seen a revival, many folk artistes who have been contributing towards preservation and promotion of this traditional performing art, are still languishing in poverty and neglect.

Remembered only on occasions marked out in the official calendar, some of these folk artistes are not even in the position of availing medical treatment because of acute financial crisis.

On the occasion of Bishnu Rabha Divas yesterday, folk artiste Nagen Das, who has trained hundreds in singing and in playing different folk instruments like dotara, dagar, khol etc, was felicitated by AASU. The students body also extended financial aid to him. But unfortunately Das could not even see distinctly the flowers in the gamocha that was presented to him as a sign of love and respect.

For more than four decades now, Das has been living with his eye problem which is getting worse every passing day. Doctors have said that it is a curable problem involving some cost. But Das has been compelled by circumstances to leave his eyes untreated. Nothing could be more pathetic � a folk artiste is slowly moving towards a world of total darkness.

�Because of my eye problem I could not continue with my studies, and also decided to remain a bachelor,� said Das who at present lives alone in a one room rented house at Japorigog here. The monthly rent of this thatched room is Rs 500 and Das never allows anyone to meet him in this hovel. This reporter had to meet him outside his hut.

�I don�t want to expose the pitiable condition of my life to the world,� he said admitting that he would lose the reason to live under such dire economic condition if people stopped loving him.

Despite his eye-sight failing him, Das still accepts invitations to perform at different functions. He has also continued teaching the young people. Many of his students are doing well in life and attained fame and that is a reason of happiness in his otherwise miserable life.

Born in 1943 in Bolua village in Nalbari, Das has been promoting Kamrupi Lokageet since his school days. He has experimented with his music in keeping with the changing times and the people have accepted the newness in the folk art.

At moments of extreme loneliness and dejection, the dotara is Das� only true companion.

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A poor folk artiste who thrives on people�s love

GUWAHATI, June 21 � Though folk art has of late seen a revival, many folk artistes who have been contributing towards preservation and promotion of this traditional performing art, are still languishing in poverty and neglect.

Remembered only on occasions marked out in the official calendar, some of these folk artistes are not even in the position of availing medical treatment because of acute financial crisis.

On the occasion of Bishnu Rabha Divas yesterday, folk artiste Nagen Das, who has trained hundreds in singing and in playing different folk instruments like dotara, dagar, khol etc, was felicitated by AASU. The students body also extended financial aid to him. But unfortunately Das could not even see distinctly the flowers in the gamocha that was presented to him as a sign of love and respect.

For more than four decades now, Das has been living with his eye problem which is getting worse every passing day. Doctors have said that it is a curable problem involving some cost. But Das has been compelled by circumstances to leave his eyes untreated. Nothing could be more pathetic � a folk artiste is slowly moving towards a world of total darkness.

�Because of my eye problem I could not continue with my studies, and also decided to remain a bachelor,� said Das who at present lives alone in a one room rented house at Japorigog here. The monthly rent of this thatched room is Rs 500 and Das never allows anyone to meet him in this hovel. This reporter had to meet him outside his hut.

�I don�t want to expose the pitiable condition of my life to the world,� he said admitting that he would lose the reason to live under such dire economic condition if people stopped loving him.

Despite his eye-sight failing him, Das still accepts invitations to perform at different functions. He has also continued teaching the young people. Many of his students are doing well in life and attained fame and that is a reason of happiness in his otherwise miserable life.

Born in 1943 in Bolua village in Nalbari, Das has been promoting Kamrupi Lokageet since his school days. He has experimented with his music in keeping with the changing times and the people have accepted the newness in the folk art.

At moments of extreme loneliness and dejection, the dotara is Das� only true companion.