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Bengal allows holding cultural events in open ground maintaining all Covid norms

Bengal allows holding cultural events in open ground maintaining all Covid norms
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Kolkata: In its endeavour to extend support to artistes in exhibiting their art form for their livelihood, the state government on Saturday allowed organising cultural events in open ground following Covid protocols.

Chief Secretary, Alapan Bandyopadhyay said that Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee had been repeatedly saying that the livelihood of artistes, despite the pandemic situation, should not be hampered and steps must be taken to support them.

There is relaxation of organising cultural programmes in a closed auditorium with half its capacity and with a maximum of 200 people.

"Fairs, exhibition, expo, recitation programmes and musical events can be organised in open ground, maintaining the norms of physical distancing. The use of masks by the people attending the same is a must," Bandyopadhyay said.

He further said it has been felt that the government must encourage permitting such programmes. "After the festive season and resumption of the train services, the state government has looked into the issues related to the livelihood of artistes with all seriousness. It has been ensured that they get the maximum support in this regard," Bandyopadhyay said adding that he held a video conference with all district magistrates and superintendents of police encouraging them to extend support to artistes. Nothing should come up as impediment restricting them from performing their art.

It needs a mention that there will be no ceiling on the number of people attending such programmes, but the dimension of the ground has to be kept under consideration while allowing the number of people in these programmes maintaining an adequate physical distance.

Director-General of Police Virendra and Commissioner of Police Anuj Sharma has also been given direction in this regard.

According to the experts, artistes have faced many inconveniences as there were several restrictions on organising programmes due to the Covid situation. A large section of them has not even been able to perform during Durga Puja as well. The announcement of the state government at this point of time becomes crucial as most cultural programmes across the state take place during winter.

This comes at the time when the state government is extending all support to nearly 2 lakh folk artistes by providing them monthly financial assistance under 'Lok Prasar Prakalpa'. Elderly folk artistes are also receiving a pension of Rs 1,000 per month.

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