Padma Shri winner has no job, working as a daily wager to feed his family

Are we living in a society where people who have achieved prestige in the arts, or any other field, lack jobs? Recently Darshanam Mogulaiah of Hyderabad was awarded Padma Shri two years ago for the revival of the rare musical instrument ‘Kinnera’. But now he is unemployed, he roams from one place to another in search of employment, at last when he did not get help from the government or anyone else, he is now working as a daily wage laborer.

The Rs 1 crore cash received from the Telangana government after the Padma Shri award was spent on family needs, leaving the 73-year-old “Kinnera Mogulaiah” artiste struggling to afford two meals a day. Mogulaiya is the father of 9 children, out of which 3 died due to illness, 3 are married; Three others are still students and dependent on Mogulaiya. One son suffers from seizures whose treatment requires at least Rs 7,000 per month. Other expenses include regular medical tests.

The artist’s wife died four years ago. “I tried to reach out to many people for work. People sympathized and politely turned me away. Everyone appreciated my glorious past and even gave me small amounts of money, but I did not get any employment,” Mogulaiya said in an interview video.

Mogulaiya says he used that money (a state grant of Rs 1 crore) for the marriages of his children. He also purchased a piece of land in Turkyamjal, on the outskirts of the city (Hyderabad). He started building the house but had to stop it midway due to running out of money.

Things became especially difficult when the state-sanctioned monthly honorarium of Rs 10,000 was recently stopped, the artiste lamented, adding that he was not sure why. “I am making rounds of government offices and meeting public representatives for help. Everyone responds positively but does nothing. What is worse is that many people take pictures with me and circulate them saying that I am begging for survival. It is very painful,” Mogulaiya said. Additionally, the state had given the artist a 600-square-yard plot in Rangareddy district near Hyderabad along with a grant of Rs 1 crore. The allotment is still pending.

Sweta Dagar is an avid reader and writer. She hails from Bulandshahr (U.P) where she completed her formap education. She loves exploring varieties of topics that shape the public opinion at large. If you have any queries, feel free to contact her at [email protected].