Jatra no longer to entertain people in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Once a thriving industry, Jatra will no longer entertain the people of Odisha as the Jatra Troupes Owner’s Association (JTOA) have decided to stop this Odia theatre performance (Opera) after July this year.

Citing burgeoning operational costs and unnecessary restrictions imposed by the state administration, Association’s president Soumya Ranjan Patnaik said 23 major opera troupes in the state are going to close their business from this year onwards.

Patnaik said this decision will surely affect the livelihood of 5000 artists.

“The announcement may send shock waves among the artists’ fraternity, but we had no way out to overcome the losses. There is no government patronage for the industry and even bankers hardly come forward for financing a troupe,” he pointed out.

“But what can be done if the Jatra owner’s faces loss. At the same time the expenditure towards paying artists, light, sound, stage and gates is more than the income from selling of tickets,” he added.

Another main reason to shut down the Jatra is the restrictions imposed by the district administration, he added.

He further said that the association may decide to resume Jatra if they get adequate financial assistance from the state government.

On the other hand, Pradeep Maharathy, owner of Kalinga Gananatya Jatra troupe said, the decision may upset the Jatra lovers.

“But the losses the Jatra owners had suffered in last five years have forced the association to shut it down forever,” said Maharathi.

Owner of Baghajatin Lokanatya Rabi Ray said it is difficult to run an opera troupe as the earning has come down drastically and most of the A-class troupes are incurring a loss of around Rs 50 lakh every year.