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Cultural capital keeps its date with winter carnivals this year

Cultural capital keeps its date with winter carnivals this year
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Kolkata: There is good news amidst the Covid pandemic. The state government is all set to organise almost all the major cultural programmes including Bangla Sangeet Mela, Poush Utsav and Biswa Bangla Lok Sanskriti Utsav to ensure that artistes do not get deprived of performing on these popular platforms like all the previous years.

It was Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's initiative that took Bangla Sangeet Mela to a new height while Poush Utsav and Biswa Bangla Lok Sanskriti Utsav was introduced after her government came into power in 2011.

This year the programmes will be held following all Covid norms and the initial steps to organise the same has already started by the cultural wing of the Information and Cultural Affairs department, said a senior state government official.

"The detailed plan of action will be chalked out following a series of meetings in which decision on number of participants, venues, etc will be finalised," the official said adding that the tenders for arrangement of basic infrastructure needed to organise such programme like light and sound system, vehicles, etc, have already been floated.

This comes when Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay has announced on Saturday the state government's decision of allowing cultural events in open ground following Covid protocols as an endeavour to extend support to artistes in exhibiting their art form for their livelihood.

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

In 2019 more than 2,500 artists had performed in all these three major programmes including around 1,800 artists only in Bangla Sangeet Mela itself. Last year Bangla Sangeet Mela was held in December. Though the dates for the same are yet to be finalised, according to officials it is expected to be held in or after mid-December. "But this time we have to be very cautious about maintenance of Covid protocol by ensuring use of masks, physical distancing and regular sanitization," the official said.

Sangeet Mela usually gets organized at 10 venues while Poush Utsav takes place at Lal Dighi and Mohorkunja. The Biswa Bangla Lok Sanskriti Utsav held at Ektara Mukta Mancha.

The 26 th edition of Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) has been rescheduled to January 8 to 15 in 2021 in the wake of Covid pandemic.

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