Coronavirus hits ‘light and sound’ workers
Kottayam: “Hello mike testing, mics testing…..” Augustine Paul, one of the owners of Sabu Sounds at Erayilkadavu here is testing mic and speakers. Augustine and his employees have been sitting idle, testing and repairing equipment for the past two weeks.
From the day coronavirus was confirmed the ‘lights and sounds’ sector is in crisis. With the festivals, public events and functions cancelled, the owners are on the run to arrange money to pay their labourers.
Though government has announced the ban on events till March 31, many are calling up and cancelling events booked till April 15, said Augustine.
January to June is viewed as the period of festivals and celebrations. But this time, within two weeks after confirming COVID-19 in the state, 25 programmes have been cancelled. A loss of around Rs 4 lakh has already occurred. Though money can be arranged by renting out generators when no events are booked to them, this option is also unavailable, as no public event is being held now. If this condition continues, labourers will have to be dismissed, he further complained.
Augustine also added that all light and sound employees are in similar situation.
Ready to do any job, but no one gives work
“I am coming after cleaning a well. We are ready to do any kind of work, but there is no work. We never expected such a situation,” said Uthaman, a light and sound labour.
Akhil and Achu, two other labourers are in dilemma about how to make their ends meet.