Got Kuswar Kotlo! Young Artists Who Once Walked Down the Stage are Now Selling Christmas Goodies

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Got Kuswar Kotlo! Young Artists Who Once Walked Down the Stage are Now Selling Christmas Goodies

  •  Got Kuswar Kotlo! A group of Young Artists Who Once Walked Down the Stage are Now Selling Christmas Goodies, under the name ‘ASTITVA (R)’ in association with Konkani Kantaram, a Musical App- and if you want to patronize and help them out in earning a small income, you can visit their counter which is set up inside the Big Bazaar Supermarket inside Bharath Mall, Bejai, Mangaluru. Kuswar is a term often used to mention a set of unique Christmas goodies which are part of the cuisine of the Goan and Mangalorean Catholic community.

 Mangaluru: No doubt, due to the recent pandemic, half of the youth between 18 to 29 years were subject to anxiety or depression-causing circumstances due to fallouts from the pandemic, according to a survey by the International Labour Organization. The survey found that one in two (i.e., 50 percent) young people across the world were subject to anxiety or depression, while 20 percent were affected by it. The survey found that a third were uncertain of their future career prospects due to the pandemic and if urgent action is not taken, youths are at the risk of suffering severe and long-lasting adverse impacts from the pandemic.

L-R : Joy Fernandes, Ms Donna Sharon D’souza and Samuel Mathias of ‘Team Astitva’

Severe disruption to learning and working, compounded by the health crisis, has seen a deterioration in young people’s mental well-being, due to the pandemic. Young people whose education or work was either disrupted or had stopped completely were almost twice affected by anxiety or depression as compared to those who continued to be employed or whose education was not affected. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted every aspect of people’s lives. Even before the onset of the crisis, the social and economic integration of young people was an ongoing challenge. Many youths have already felt the direct impact of the pandemic, with one in six youths having to stop work since the virus outbreak.

Many young workers are employed in highly-affected sectors, such as support, services or sales-related work, making them more vulnerable to the economic consequences of the pandemic. Many young people, who were either studying or combining study and work before the onset of the crisis, experienced school or college or university closures though all of them were not able to transition into online and distance learning. The coronavirus has many young people without any access to courses, teaching or training — a situation particularly acute among the youth in low-income families and one that serves to underline the sharp digital divide that exists between regions. The pandemic is also inflicting a heavy toll on young workers, destroying their employment and undermining their career prospects.

The pandemic is inflicting multiple shocks on young people. It is not only destroying their jobs and employment prospects, but also disrupting their education and training and having a serious impact on their mental well-being. Despite the setbacks, the youth have continued to mobilise and speak out about the crisis. Among them, many young people have done some kind of volunteer work during the pandemic, or started their own self-income small businesses. And right here in Mangaluru, we are seeing a bunch of youngsters after losing their jobs or their salaries cut drastically or dropped out from College or Universities are making their ends meet by starting their own self-income business- where some of the well-educated youth have opened Fish Shops, Fruits & Vegetable Shops, one young man who lost his job at a Pizza shack is selling Samosas, and many others who fall in the same category,

This is a story of a young group who are students, some having completed their education, some who were in good jobs, but lost them, due to lockdown/pandemic, are now earning a small income with the support from the public by patronizing their self-income project. And this evening ( 9 December) while I was shopping at Big Bazaar, which is all decked up for the Christmas season, I met three youths who were trying all their efforts in marketing Christmas goodies. And I found out that these are a group of young artists working, studying or searching for jobs, and with the support from the public, from the past few years, were able to earn a small income. They belong to the Team Astitva, comprising about fifteen active members at present. But due to the lack of shows, during this Covid-19 times, they have been unable to do anything. But without losing hope, they are coming up with a production based on the Konkani Textbook prescribed for Second B.Com students of Mangalore University.

These young artists who once walked down the stage entertaining audiences, are now selling Christmas Goodies, like Kuswar, cakes, Christmas decoration items etc etc. In the meantime, they are also getting ready with another translated play in Konkani and a Kannada play directed by an external director. So their bookings and shows will continue to be open. Everyone is having a hard time economically and keeping that in mind it would be wrong for them to ask from the little that Good Samaritans have. So these theatre artists have come up with an alternative, named “THEATRE TO TASTE”!

Speaking to Team Mangalorean, one of the active members of Astitva, Ms Donna Sharon D’Souza said, ” This Christmas anyone planning to buy ‘Kuswar’ for themselves, or their families, and wants to spread some joy to a deserving family, please keep us in your mind. We have provision for buying in bulk or packs. The savouries will be delivered to your doorstep. If you don’t want to buy, make sure you become a part in bringing a smile on someone’s face. If you are someone who buys kuswar from shops, then this year keep us in your mind”. “We as artists strive to do our best and need to have a living too. We are selling all types of Kuswar as per your demands. We have something called “Kuswar Kotlo” a complete Kuswar package worth Rs. 500, Rs 1000 and Rs 2000. These packages can be bought for self, can be ordered as a surprise for a loved one or donated to a deserving family. Christmas is all about sharing the joy of giving, so this festive season, make sure you are a part in some body’s happiness” added Donna.

Team Mangalorean kindly request our readers to support these youth of Astitva by buying Christmas Kuswar and goodies, so that they can earn a little income to make their Christmas Jolly, Merry and Ho..ho..ho..!

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