Indian circus industry fights for survival

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Coimbatore, July 16 (ANI): The circus industry in India today struggles for survival as stricter wildlife norms and advent of new age entertainment has spelled doom for the industry.

Circus, the traditional art, began its first show in India during 1880 in Mumbai to entertain people apart from cinema and theatres. People make a beeline to watch animals like lion, tiger, zebra, elephants, bear, etc.

However, in the wake of the central government putting a ban on the use of animals in circus under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, the show nowadays is run with fewer animals like dogs and jumbos.

Ajay Shankar, managing director, Jumbo Circus, said that the industry is incurring losses, due to new age of entertainments.

"People should come. Only then we can feed the animals and give salary to the staff. So it's not that profitable as before because nowadays there are amusement parks, there are computers and there are other lot of entertainment, which are all new techniques," he added.

Most of the galleries and seats remain vacant during the show. The artists, aware of the industry's bleak future, are still drawn to it hoping for a better tomorrow.

"I joined the circus industry at a young age and started this profession as a joker. I played many artistic games and now I am 58. Though I am an expert in bar playing, once I fell down and broke my leg. Since then I am not able to walk properly and now I act as a joker," said Chandran, an artist.

The industry has urged the central government to provide it support to save this traditional art from extinction by providing electricity and land at cheaper rates and free water to animals. By Jehovah G (ANI)

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