Digital out, cash in again at Chitra Santhe

Digital out, cash in again at Chitra Santhe

With more stalls and artists, the 15th 'Chitra Santhe' organised by the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath got its largest footfall of 5 lakh.

Artists who exhibited their work were also happier as demonetisation blues had faded, bringing them better sales.

Dinesh Kumar from Chennai works in an IT company but creates artworks with his uncle in his free time.

Last year, their sales were affected by the cash crunch and they had to accept payments through account transfers.

"We brought fewer watercolours and more sand art this time. People get attracted by the sign we have put up and stop by out of sheer curiosity. Out of the 55 sand arts my uncle and I brought here, only about five are left," he said.

Though they were accepting payments through Paytm, most people paid with cash and Dinesh had to run around to arrange change for Rs 2,000 notes.

Signs declaring 'Paytm accepted' and 'Card payment accepted', ubiquitous in the 2017 festival, were scarce this time.

Nandini Kamalakar, part of a group called 'Summer 16', said that last year, even after arrangements such as point-of-sale machines and digital payment options, people were still reluctant to purchase artworks.

"The sales are much better this time and our group has sold many paintings so far. Except for one customer, everyone preferred to pay by cash," Nandini said.

Prof K S Appajaiah, the assistant secretary at KCP, said that demand for POS machines was less this time.

"People mostly withdrew cash from the ATMs and paid artists directly. We had two POS machines but only transactions worth Rs 6 lakh were made from them. The three ATMs reported a total of Rs 1 crore withdrawals," he said.

Last year there were 12 POS machines.



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