In this age of television, play-stations, virtual reality wearables and entertainment on handheld devices, circuses have become almost extinct. Even the few on survival mode have been crippled by the coronavirus induced lockdown– such as the 100-year-old Great Bombay Circus, which was recently touring Tamil Nadu.
The circus had pitched a tent at Mannargudi town of Thiruvarur district since February 27 and has been attracting a lukewarm response except during weekends, when the ticket sale improved. But since the March 26 lockdown, the circus stopped its shows and its performers have been idling.
With no shows and no ticket sale, the performers and animals were facing starvation. But the locals decided to step in.
The state Food Minister R. Kamaraj, who hails from the same district, led by example and reached provisions for the performers and instructed officials of the animal husbandry department to give feed and fodder for the circus animals that included camels and horses. The local shopkeepers kept up the supply of provisions and vegetables whenever the circus manager alerted them about rations running low…
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