The news confirming Bihu celebrations by Assam’s Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma brought waves of joy and happiness amongst the people of Assam. Preparations for various cultural events to celebrate Bihu in over a thousand venues across the state are carried out in full swing.
However, amid the festive fervour, organisers are also facing budget constrain. Most popular Bihu committees, such as the East Guwahati Bihu Sanmillani Samity and the Brihattar Guwahati Bihu Sanmillani Samity, had to cut down their budget by 30-40 per cent.
“Most companies informed us that they are unable to sponsor like they did in the previous years and can only provide limited funds this year. Considering the situation, the committee is also trying to organise Bihu accordingly. So we have curtailed our budget by 30 to 40 per cent as compared to the previous years. The collection has not been satisfactory,” said, Kailash Sharma, Advisor, Brihattar Guwahati Bihu Sanmillani Samity.
Musicians who were also severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic are also likely to be affected by budget constrain. Singer Mayuri Dutta says that they have already cut down their fee, yet they are getting requests from Bihu committees to further negotiate their fee.
“All of us musicians faced a lot of financial troubles. When we perform on stage, we are like a family. There are Bihu dancers and musicians, including me. So if we have to cut down our budget, it affects everyone. We have been facing this lot this year. We have already cut down our fee but we are being offered much less,” Dutta added.