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CIRCUS POPULARITY ON A DECLINE (TAPE NO: 09/15937)

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Story number: ANI20091013009

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NATURAL WITH HINDI SPEECH DURATION: 3.43 SOURCE: ANI TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS: NONE Circus popularity on a decline. Circus in India is facing a tough competition from modern forms of entertainment, thus threatening the livelihood of hundreds of people working for it. SHOWS: MORADABAD, UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA (OCTOBER 13, 2009) (ANI-ACCESS ALL) 1. ELEPHANT ON A STOOL 2. SCHOOL STUDENTS APPLAUDING 3. ELEPHANT STUNTS 4. DOG PERFORMING STUNTS 5. BIKE STUNTS IN GLOBE OF DEATH 6. GIRL JUGGLING FIRE STICKS 7. AUDIENCE WATCHING 8. GIRL PERFORMING 9. AUDIENCE WATCHING 10. (SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) ALOK YADAV, MANAGER OF APOLLO CIRCUS, SAYING: "It has now become very difficult to run circus. But we have 200 staff in our troupe. We have the prayers of these 200 people due to which we sometimes get good audience. But this business is becoming difficult with every passing day." 11. JOKER PAINTING FACE 12.JOKER PRAYING 13. (SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) KESAR KHAN, A PERFORMER, SAYING: "If we move out of the circus, whether we are educated or not we will not get jobs anywhere because of our height. That is why we have life only in circus and it is good. This is our home and family" 14.GIRL WITH HULA HOOPS 15. (SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) ALOK YADAV, MANAGER OF APOLLO CIRCUS, SAYING: "We want the central government to help us. We want the government to give circus the status of an industry and give back the animals that have been banned so that we can preserve this art form. Otherwise people will only get to hear stories that something called circus existed in the past." 16. FEMALE ACROBATS PERFORMING IN GROUP 17. AUDIENCE STORY: Circus, one of the most popular forms of entertainment in good old days, is facing tough competition in India from modern forms of entertainment - satellite television, multiplexes, gaming consoles etc. There was a time when people waited for the whole year for the circus troupe to come to their town. Advance bookings and rush for tickets depicted craze among people for the shows. But things have changed with times. Sky rocketing expenditure, rising cost of maintaining staff and increasing pressure from animal activists have made it extremely difficult for the circus owners to run the show. Apollo Circus, one of the famous circus troupes in India, recently staged its shows in Moradabad, a city in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, after 6 years. Although Alok Yadav, the manager of Apollo Circus says his troupe received a warm response from the city but quickly adds that it is extremely difficult to keep the show going. "It has now become very difficult to run circus. But we have 200 staff in our troupe. We have the prayers of these 200 people due to which we sometimes get good audience. But this business is becoming difficult with every passing day," says Yadav Circus provides employment to many and it is the performers and workers who have been worst hit by its downfall. Kesar Khan suffers from stunted growth. He works as a joker and has been for years earning his livelihood by fooling around and making people laugh. But now he is worried about the fact that the declining popularity of circus will leave him jobless. He doesn't know any other job and there are hardly any other avenues for people like him. "If we move out of the circus, whether we are educated or not we will not get jobs anywhere because of our height. That is why we have life only in circus and it is good. This is our home and family," says Khan. Ironically, the circus performers who have enthralled the audience with their acrobatic skills all through their lives are now worried about their own uncertain future. With government banning some of the animals from being part of the circus, the popularity has gone down further and has created more pressure on the acrobats. But most of the workers who have been long attached to the troupe consider it to be their home and treat their co-workers as family members. They have nowhere else to go. They are now pinning their hopes on the Central government as a last resort. "We want the central government to help us. We want the government to give circus the status of an industry and give back the animals that have been banned so that we can preserve this art form. Otherwise people will only get to hear stories that something called circus existed in the past," says Yadav. They have asked the government to provide them facilities so that they can continue to run the shows-a last desperate attempt to preserve the dying art form.

Ref: ANI20091013009

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