TN musicians auction saris to raise funds for deprived artists

Chennai: Classical dancers and musicians of Tamil Nadu joined together and auctioned their saris to support the deprived artists of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu who are suffering due to the loss of jobs following the COVID pandemic.

Eighteen classical dancers and musicians of the state including Bombay Jayasree, Aruna Sairam, Malavika Sarukkai, Priyadarshini Govind, donated their saris to an online auction, “6 Yards of Hope”.

The proceeds of the auction will go to “Funds for Folk”, a fundraiser programme to support the deprived and disadvantaged artists of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The team of “Funds for Folk” told IANS that the funds would be provided to support the artists of these southern states.

 The idea was mooted by dancer Christopher Guruswamy and implemented by the team of “Funds for Folk” led by Shreya Nagarajan Singh and Tenma.

The auction which was held for two weeks fetched around Rs 2.5 lakh. The team joined hands with Panjavarnam silks in terms of platform, textile, and classical arts.

The team received eighteen silk saris which were put on the Instagram page of Panjavarnam Silks. A joint statement of “Fund for Folk” and Panjavarnam Silks said that all the saris put out on the Instagram page of Panjavarnam Silks were sold out.

The highest bid was Rs 26,500 for the Silk sari of Bombay Jayasree which was bought by an anonymous buyer based in the United States, the statement said.

The group, “Fund for Folk” said that they would take more such initiatives to support people who are suffering from the woes of the pandemic and that the artists of various categories will be extended support in the days to come.

Almost all the artists barring a few are in acute financial stress following back to back pandemic waves and most of them are surviving by the meagre support extended by the state government including food kits and dole of Rs 4,000 provided in two instalments.

Suryammurthy Ramakrishnan, a tabla artist at Erode while speaking to IANS said, “We are not starving, thanks to the food kit initiative of the state government but there are other basic needs and we are not in a position to meet up. Anyway, such initiatives are great and would at least give people like us a fresh hope to pull off.”