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Duare Sarkar camps help over one lakh folk artistes earn a living

Duare Sarkar camps help over one lakh folk artistes earn a living
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Kolkata: Besides ensuring doorstep delivery of benefits of a dozen state-run schemes through Duare Sarkar programme, the Mamata Banerjee government is also creating job opportunities for over one lakh folk artistes as they have been roped in to make people aware about the country's biggest outreach drive.

The state government had decided to engage the folk artistes to create awareness about the Duare Sarkar programme because most of them had been out of work since the past six to seven months due to the Covid situation. The pandemic came as a major blow to their livelihood.

"On one hand, people are getting aware about the schemes — the benefits of which they can avail by visiting the Duare Sarkar camps — and on the other hand, the initiative is providing economical support to the folk artistes mostly from rural parts of the state. So far, 1.12 crore people have visited the Duare Sarkar camps in barely two weeks' time," said a senior state government official.

The officer claimed that more than one lakh artistes are getting benefitted through the initiative. The state government is investing around Rs 10 crore for the same.

Folk artistes including 'baul' and 'chhau' performers have been engaged by authorities of every district to move around localities or perform outside Duare Sarkar camps for spreading awareness about the same. Each artiste is getting Rs 1,000 for his or her performance per day. The initiative has led to economic rejuvenation of the artistes and their families, who have witnessed tough times due to the pandemic.

At the same time, Bangla Moder Garbo programme has also been initiated. As part of this initiative, exhibitions, cultural programmes and expos are being organised from December 11 to mid-February. Around 1,400 artistes have been engaged in Bangla Moder Garbo initiative.

Earlier, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had conceived the idea of introducing Lokprasar Prokolpo a few years back to provide financial assistance to 1.95 lakh folk artistes.

The scheme helped in preserving several art forms of Bengal. Each artiste, under the scheme, gets a retainer fee of Rs 1,000 per month. The senior artistes, above 60 years of age, also receive a monthly pension of Rs 1,000.

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