The Great Bombay Circus, one of India’s biggest and oldest, had planned mega celebrations in October to mark its centenary this year. With no shows in the past seven months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it finds itself walking a tightrope for survival instead.
“We are trying hard to save the circus; in fact, not just us, the pandemic has dealt a body blow to most circuses, which were struggling to stay afloat even before the pandemic,” says KM Sanjeev, co-partner, the Great Bombay Circus.
India’s two dozen big and small circuses (once there were over 300) are struggling in the wake of the deadly pathogen, and have so far survived on donations; some, such as Rambo, have even tried to go digital. “Can you imagine what it is like to feed a family of 150 when your income suddenly falls to zero. I had to sell my property to save the circus. When the lockdown was announced, we never thought the crisis would last so long,” says Raju Pehalwan, who owns Asiad Circus, started it in the late 1980s…
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