For the first time, the state level Hul Utsav will be organised at Jhargram in West Midnapore, giving the people of Jangalmahal an opportunity to witness the programme on a large scale. Hul Utsav is organised every year to commemorate the fight of the tribal people against the British Raj in 1885. The three-day-long Hul Utsav will begin on June 30 at the ground of Kumud Kumari Institution at Jhargram in West Midnapore.
There will be programmes in almost all remaining districts, including Kolkata on the same day.
The programmes in the districts other than West Midnapore will last two day s. On the other hand, the state level programme at Jhargram will be three-days long.
The state level Hul Utsav used to be held regularly in Kolkata. This year the state government has decided to hold the programme in Jhargram, so that more people from Jangalmahal can participate in the festival. Around 22 teams of different tribal art forms will be participating in the programme.
Tribal dances, including Pata and Karam, will be performed in the Hul Utsav. Artists from four districts – Purulia, Burdwan, Murshidabad and Nadia – will be performing in the state level programme. The programme will be inaugurated at 4 pm on June 30. State tribal Development Minister James Kujur and Backward Classes Welfare Minister Churamoni Mahata will be present in the programme.
Besides cultural programmes, camps of different departments of the West Bengal government – including MSME, Panchayat and Rural Development, Agriculture Marketing and Fisheries – will be set up in the premises of Hul Utsav. Awareness will be spread among people about the different facilities and schemes taken up the departments for their benefits in the camps.
Women from different self help groups will also be participating in the programme. Goods and other products prepared by them will be exhibited and available for sale.
The state government will also showcase its achievements in bringing an overall development of Jangalmahal in the past five years. In other districts, two-day long programmes will be held, in which folk and tribal artists will be performing to celebrate the occasion.
It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had created a separate department for tribal affairs after coming to power to ensure that equal importance is given to the tribal population in the state. She had stated that before the formation of the department, tribals in the state had to run from pillar to post to seek the attention of the state government for any sort of assistance as they had many grievances. Hence, the department was formed, keeping in mind the welfare of the tribals.
The scenario has changed drastically after the creation of the department, as a series of projects was taken up for the benefit of the tribals in the state in the last five years. Music instruments, that were popularly used by artists of various tribal art forms, were distributed by the Chief Minister in last the Hul Utsav.
This gave a lot of encouragement to the artists. With the assistance of the state government, the artists, too, are now giving their best to take the art forms to higher levels. Moreover, the Hul Utsav reached a new level after the current state government took up initiatives to turn it a state level programme.