Group: Satrughan Paswan and Group
Satrugan belongs to a village named Bahadurpur in the Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh, which is not very far from the border with Bihar. The culture of the place is largely influenced by Bihar, and Bhojpuri is commonly spoken and understood there. He grew up watching folk music and dance performances in his village, and his family were also involved in them. The elders in his family recognized his talent as a dancer and thought he would do a great job dressing up as a woman.
Around the age of 14, he started out by earning about Rs. 25 rupees for one whole night of performing, but he soon became popular and made more money. This encouraged him to take it up full-time. He says that it mostly began as a means to earn money quickly and escape poverty. He belongs to a family of labourers. He joined Nathuni’s group as a dancer and performed in the group for over 20 years. Currently, as Nathuni has retired due to his ailing health, Satrugan leads the group and manages the events.
He has performed all across Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in family events and gatherings and even political rallies. He is well-known around his district not just for his dancing skills but also for pulling off some stunts and gymnastic moves in his performances. Today he earns about Rs. 2500 in each performance, and this allows him to feed his family through his shows alone. Alongside singing and dancing, he even plays a few percussion instruments.
- Uttar Pradesh