Folk artistes draw people to 'Duare Sarkar' camps in Sunderbans
Kolkata: The first-of-its-kind outreach campaign, 'Duare Sarkar', has received an overwhelming response in the Sunderbans with the district administration roping in folk artistes to perform at the camps for creating awareness among the rural population.
"The 'lok prasar shilpis' are being used to reach out to the people in the remote areas. They are making people aware of the benefits available at these camps through various performances. The majority of people attending these camps are filling up forms for availing benefits of the Swastha Sathi scheme," said Manturam Pakhira, minister for Sunderbans Development.
Jatra artistes and gajan artistes have also been provided with a platform to perform at a number of camps. "Some of these artistes in Sunderbans aren't enrolled as 'Lok Prasar Shilpis.' I will take up the matter with the state Information and Cultural Affairs department so that they can avail benefits of the Lok Prasar Prakalpa," he added.
Under this scheme, folk artistes between the age of 18 to 60 receive Rs 1000 per month as retainer fee. Senior artistes, who are above 60, receive Rs 1000 per as monthly pension. Apart from this, the active performers receive Rs 1000 as performance fee per programme.
MLA Sagar Bankim Hazra, who has been supervising activities at a number of camps in Sagar and Namkhana block for the last few days, said people had welcomed the 'Duare Sarkar' initiative. The most remote villages in the Sunderbans come under Sagar block, which covers 9 gram panchayats and 42 'moujas'.
"The officials in the camp are also helping the rural people to fill up forms as some of them are not educated. Apart from Swastha Sathi applications, people are also queuing up for SC/ST certificates, 'Jai Johar' and also for clearing mutation and similar issues related to farm lands," said Hazra.
There are different officers designated for dissemination of services under 11 schemes, including 'Swastha Sathi', 'Khadya Sathi', , Caste Certificates, 'Sikshashree', 'Jai Johar', 'Taposili Bandhu', 'Kanyashree', 'Rupashree', 'Aikyashree', MGNREGA and 'Krishak Bandhu.'
More than 1.5 lakhs people in South 24 Parganas have visited different camps in the districts since December 1.