Jaipur based NGO Lok Samvad Sansthan under their social media campaign ‘Maru Mani’ brought flawless Rajasthani folk artists Kusum Kachwaha, Sakoor Khan Langa, Irfan Khan Langa, Safi Khan Langa, and Hayat Khan Langa online on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. The event was held to create awareness about the problems these artists are facing because of the COVID-19 lockdown.
‘Maru Mani’ (Jewels of Desert), was launched earlier this week for receiving monetary support for preserving the rich heritage of traditional music and dance forms of the Thar Desert. They are the groups of hereditary professional musicians, whose music has been supported by wealthy landlords and aristocrats for generations.
Both the Langa and Manganiyar are traditional communities that make their living as musicians. These musicians are revered as professional artists and their performances are inspired by epic stories, folklore as well as the lives of their patrons. They also perform songs of saint-poets like Meera, Kabir, Surdas, Dadu, and the songs of the Sufi saints.
The Manganiar and related Langha are Muslim communities in the desert of Rajasthan, India in the districts of Barmer and Jaisalmer, along the border in Sindh province of Pakistan. The COVID-19 lockdown made their performance stopped globally and brought many challenges on their path to survive their traditional folk art.
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These artists are the flag bearers for carrying on the centuries-old legacy of Rajasthani folk dance and music. There are more events lined up and are being uploaded on social media handles of the NGO to keep their viewers posted. These posts and campaigns will lead to raising funds for helping folk artists of Rajasthan to get back on their feet.
Commenting on the event, Mr. Kalyan Singh Kothari, Secretary of Lok Samvad Sansthan said, “These artists have preserved the art for these years and now it is our duty along with the masses to help them preserve it by contributing to the cause through participating in our events and donations. Due to COVID-19 lockdown, they are not travelling nor can perform at any event. Their only source of income has been curbed and now it is our responsibility to uplift them and help them stand up again.”
As a part of Maru Mani, an initiative run by Lok Samvad Sansthan with the support from Prof. Debanjan Banerjee as Brand Ambassador of Eastern India of Lok Samvad Sansthan, Rupayan Santhan, Jodhpur as Research Partner, Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication, Dwarka (New Delhi), Social Media Campaign Partner, and UPES University, Dehradun as an academic partner to address the needs and concerns of these traditional folk artists of desert districts of western Rajasthan.