Bhubaneswar: Jatra lovers in Odisha were left heartbroken today after the State Jatra Troupe Owners’ Association decided to stop staging shows from July citing huge losses and other factors.
Addressing a press conference here, the association President Soumya Ranjan Patnaik said several owners of Jatra troupes in the State have been facing huge financial losses for last few years making to run the shows almost impossible.
“The expenditure has been increasing sharply for which the jatra troupes are finding difficulty earning revenue. This apart, several restrictions imposed by the State government adding to the woes. Hence, we decided to close down the Jatra shows in the state from July 2018,” Patnaik, who also owns some Jatra troupes, told reporters.
Explaining in detail about the reasons behind the move, he said: “Jatra operas are not able to hold shows throughout the year due to several restrictions imposed by the administration like during exams or elections etc. The shows are also badly affected during floods and cyclones. Besides, the cost of the show tickets, the only income source of Jatra industry, wouldn’t be possible to increase frequently.”
State Panchayatiraj Minister Pradeep Maharathi, who is also the owner of ‘Kalinga Gananatya’, a Jatra troupe, didn’t reveal much before media saying there are some issues which can’t be discussed in media.
“There are several factors have forced us to take such decision despite knowing that the move will adversely affect the livelihood of hundreds of Jatra artists and technicians in the State. But, let’s see how it goes and may be after one year we will hold a meeting and decide the future course of action,” Maharathi said.
Soon after the decision, several Jatra artists, including some big names, said the move will severely affect their livelihood.
“Many jatra artists will lose their jobs and will find it difficult to survive if Jatra party owners decided to stop their businesses,” said popular Jatra artist Raimohan Parida saying artists like him can’t do anything if the association decides to stop holding shows.