Minister extends Rs 1 lakh financial aid to Punjabi folk singer Gurmeet Bawa's daughter Glory after her distress call : The Tribune India

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Minister extends Rs 1 lakh financial aid to Punjabi folk singer Gurmeet Bawa's daughter Glory after her distress call

Singer says dwindling work, illegal occupation of 5 shops owned by family hit her earning



Tribune News Service

Neha Saini

Amritsar, July 3

Days after Glory Bawa, daughter of eminent Punjabi folk singer and Padma Bhushan awardee Gurmeet Bawa, called out the government for turning its back on artistes, sharing the story of her financial struggles in a video that went viral, Cabinet minister Kuldeep Dhaliwal today visited her home and presented her with a Rs 1 lakh cheque as assistance.

Minister Kuldeep Dhaliwal and Amritsar DC Ghanshyam Thori with Glory Bawa in Amritsar on Wednesday. Photo: Vishal Kumar

Poor returns for Punjabi folk industry

The Punjabi folk music industry suffers from poor return for the artistes. While a different kind of Punjabi music is now being made popular, people have stopped listening to kind of music we make. There are no patrons, no shows, lesser concerts are being held and many folk artistes have faded away from public memory. Glory Bawa, folk artiste

Amritsar DC Ghanshyam Thori also presented another Rs 1 lakh cheque to her on behalf of the District Red Cross Society. Glory, who is the sole earning member left in the family of folk singers, had revealed how their five shops on the main road near the Fatehgarh Churian bypass had been illegally occupied over the years, blocking their source of income.

“I have been facing a financial crunch since my mother passed away in 2021. Somehow, through the earnings from live concerts and shows, I managed to bear the family’s expenses. But for the last four months, after my father, Kirpal Bawa, also passed away, the crisis got deeper and I had to make a desperate call for help,” she said.

Glory shared in the video how her family was facing acute financial crisis as she was the sole earning member left and she had to look after her sister Simran and her daughter, her own daughter and children of her deceased sister Lachi Bawa, a noted singer who passed away due to cancer. Made vulnerable by the circumstances, Glory said: “I seek employment through the promotion of folk art and artistes.”

Dhaliwal said: “I came here with a heavy heart that our singer, who took Punjabi language and culture to all corners of the world, was facing such issues. I was even more saddened to hear that the family’s five shops, which are the source of their livelihood, have also been illegally occupied by some persons. They are neither paying rent nor vacating the outlets.” The minister also met those shopkeepers and asked them to comply with the lease regulations and pay rent or face legal action.

Glory, an award-winning artiste, and her sister Lachi joined their mother Gurmeet Bawa in carrying forward the legacy of Punjabi folk music, but she now is a disheartened woman. Glory believes that the Punjabi folk music and artistes cannot just survive on a glorious past — giving the lie to her name.

“The Punjabi folk music industry suffers from poor returns for the artistes. While a different kind of Punjabi music is now being made popular, people have stopped listening to the kind of music we make. There are no patrons, no shows, lesser concerts are being held and many folk artistes have faded away from public memory. I know a folk instrumentalist who used to play with my mother — he now works in a factory. Another folk artiste I know sells vegetables now,” she says.

Appealing to CMBhagwant Mann — whom she referred to as an artiste — to give financial stability to folk artistes by formulating a new policy. “When artistes age, they cannot perform the way they used to, so their income suffers. The government must start a pension scheme for elderly artistes.”

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