SILCHAR, June 12 - Sharada Singh, a 40-year-old woman who had come from Khidderpore in Kolkata to Silchar for the first time with her family to display acrobatic performances like horse riding, cycling and other acts and earn money during the annual Gandhi Mela, is now struggling to survive.
The mela which started on January 31 and had gained momentum by mid-March had to be stopped due to the nationwide lockdown from March 24 to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Since then, Sharada, her daughter Poonam and husband Ratan Singh have been struggling to cope with the situation. Their woes have now worsened, as the rains have intensified and the field where they managed to stay, has got submerged.
But choosing not to be bogged down by these problems, Sharada decided to take up sale of vegetables and fish to earn a living.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Sharada said, �The lockdown has badly hit us and many others like us. We came here to display our skills and performances at the fair but because of the pandemic, the fair was shut down. We have no food and no proper shelter. At one point, we had almost decided to quit living. But then, I chose to see what life has in store for us and thought of sitting by the roadside with vegetables and fish.�
Asked how she managed money to buy vegetables, Sharada said, �We had some jewellery with us which I kept under mortgage and bought vegetables with the money. I have been paying the amount from the daily earnings to lessen the burden and this is going on since the past three months.�
Meanwhile, members of Chhandaneer, a local organisation, reached out to Sharada and her family with a saree and Rs 5,000 in cash to assist her during the crisis. Partha Seal, a member of the organisation said, �We salute the woman for her grit amidst such tough times. Our humble effort is only to stand by her, and express solidarity in her fight against the odds.�