The family of Chandra Bahadur Gandarva, 60, of Budhiganga Municipality, dependant on the sarangi for livelihood, is finding it difficult to make ends meet.

Chandra Bahadur could not play the sarangi due to old age. He used to reach the villages and play the sarangi and run the family with the food grains and money offered by villagers. Now, the whole family is facing problems managing daily meals as Chandra Bahadur cannot reach out to the people and play the sarangi.

With the festivals just around the corner, his neighbours and relatives have started buying clothes and food stuff, among other things, for the festival. But the kids of Chandra Bahadur are deprived of this happiness. His wife Batuli is a mental patient.

As many as eight Gandarva families live in Bajura. Acute food shortage has hit these families hard just before the festivals. They added that the Gandarva families had to resort to begging to run the family. There is nothing left except their huts and there is no income source. Chandra Bahadur's son Harka said that they have been sleeping on empty stomach after his father stopped playing the sarangi in the villages. Chandra Bahadur said that economic crisis was the main reason e could not send his sons to school.

The villagers used to provide money, food grains when he entertained them with the tune of his sarangi. He has no other skill.

He used to reach Betalmandau, Rithabazaar, Barjugard, Sanphebagar of Achham, Kuldevmandau, Toli, Chhatara, Jayabageshwori, among other local markets, to play the sarangi.

Harka said he did not go to school due to poverty. He said his father could not buy happiness for them even during the festivals.

A version of this article appears in the print on October 4, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.