Sambalpur: Singer of the cult Sambalpuri folk song ‘Rangabti’ and Padma Shri awardee Dr Jitendra Haripal has voiced his grievance over the state of folk artistes in Odisha after losing his house to heavy rain in Sambalpur.
Haripal has been residing in a kutcha house at Station Para in Sambalpur with 11 other family members. The mud-walled house soaked in the heavy rain recently collapsed. He has managed to put the half-broken house together with a couple of wooden beams.
Talking about his concerns, he said, “Nowadays, folk artists including me are being deprived of a platform or means to earn a livelihood. We have been chasing dignity and putting efforts to save the culture. I would have lost many things earlier had it not been some people who helped me in times of crisis.”
During these troubled COVID-19 pandemic times, he still has to perform on stage to earn bread to feed his family.
His youngest son is unable to work after an accident and his eldest son, who used to drive autorickshaw before the pandemic hit the economy, is without any source of livelihood.
Haripal further appealed for a temporary place of residence for his family, including his wife, two sons, their wives, and five grandchildren, till the house is repaired.