SIVASAGAR, May 17 - One of the premier circus parties in Assam, Mahabahoo Circus, had pitched its tent at Moran HS School field for its shows from March 16 under the patronage of the Moran Boxing Association.
But members of the circus party had no idea that the world has so unbelievably changed in front of their eyes and events like a circus or any show business has gone forever out of the window.
The administration clamped strict law-and-order directives in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and their show had to be stopped even before it had begun.
The 35-member circus party put up at the school campus for the next two months during the entire lockdown period amidst hunger and unbearable hardship.
The circus party, a registered one, began its journey from Peskarapar village under Boguwan PS in Goalpara district in 1983. Its owner, Priya Kumar Nath did his apprenticeship in the popular Jay Bharat Circus and worked there for four years in Nepal and Siliguri before starting his own circus party entirely, with 110 artists from Assam.
The manager of the party told scribes in Moran that it was the fulfilment of his dream to own a circus party. The circus did very good business till 1995. But when the government seized all its animals under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, it had to downsize. But, he said that there has never been such hardship before in its 38 years of existence as in this COVID-19 lockdown and they are now left with no option but to look up to the Chief Minister of the State for sustenance for survival.
Barring Ramji Bhandari (Pokhra) and Manju Thapa (Mokular) of Nepal, all the other members of the present staff are from Assam.
Some of them � Akash Ronghang (Karbi Anglong), Buddha Sutradhar (Abhayapuri), Rana Sing (Baxar), Jayaprabha Das (Kaki, Nagaon), Bikram Ali ( Kharupetia), Biju Gogoi (Sivasagar), Pushpa Ali (Tezpur), Pulin Gogoi and Trishna Gogoi (Dergaon), Bharati Devi, Nayan Sutradhar, Haren Nath and Phani Nath (Dudhnoi), Utpal and Rima Rai (Goalpara), Nilima Nath and Putali Sutradhar (Agiya) and Gafur Ali (Krishnai) � narrated their tales of woe to the local media persons when the latter visited the camp recently.
Sovit Chetri, a journalist of Moran, said the party is trapped in this quagmire as they cannot move of their own, unless the district administration permits them to move.
Further, the party does not have their own vehicle to move and so it will have to make arrangements for moving to the next location and that too is totally uncertain now.
All of them appeared to be panic-stricken, fearing a coronavirus contagion in the camp. Worry and despair was writ large over every member present, Chetri said.
The party manager said that there is no relief from the government so far, but oganisations like AJYCP and a few others have extended their helping hands. The AJYCP Moran unit donated one sackful of rice, and three citizens � Chandrasekhar Chetia, Chanakya Gogoi and Mayur Baruah � gave some food items, which were a source of great relief.