Bengal offers Rs.1 crore grant for theatre, folk artistes

Kolkata, March 22 (IANS) Coming to the aid of financially distressed theatre and folk artistes of the state, the West Bengal government Friday announced a grant of around Rs.1 crore to select performers and groups.

“We have listed certain artistes and groups from the state who are in a financially deplorable state, for the grants. Several of them had appealed to us also for help,” Higher Education Minister Bratya Basu said at a media conference here.
As part of the grant, 100 theatre groups will receive Rs.35,000 each, amounting to a total of Rs.35 lakh.
According to Basu, 120 jatra performers will get Rs.7,000 each, totalling to Rs.8.4 lakhs.
“A total of 215 folk artists will be granted Rs.7,000 each, which sums up to Rs.1,505,000. Similarly we have selected 100 folk groups across the districts, like chhau dancers etc., who will get Rs.5,000 each. This adds up to Rs.5 lakh,” he said.
Basu also said 170 candidates associated with literature have been ear-marked to receive a lifelong pension of Rs.1,500 per month. The pension will be effective April onwards.
“Despite the financial crunch, the state government has given around a crore for bettering the lot of these artists. This move should be welcomed. The grant is annual. We will try to include many more performers next year,” the minister said.