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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Kumari Selja on institutional support to arts


In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha on the schemes promoting Indian arts and supporting artistes, the Minister for Culture and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja said that the Central Government is implementing a variety of schemes aimed at preserving, promoting and reviving the Indian traditional folk arts and culture. The Central Government has set up seven Zonal Cultural Centres, to extend support to folk and traditional arts and artisans of the country. Through these Centres, the Central Government is implementing many schemes such as the National Cultural Exchange Programme, Guru Shishya Parampara Scheme, Young Talented Artistes Scheme, Documentation of Vanishing Art Forms, Theatre Rejuvenation Scheme, Shilpagram Activities, Loktarang (National Folk Dance Festival) and OCTAVE (Festival of the North East).

She mentioned that the scheme of Financial Assistance to Professional Groups and Individuals Engaged for Specified Performing Arts Projects, Cultural Functions Grant Scheme, Scheme for Scholarships to Young Artistes in Different Cultural Fields, and Scheme for the Award of Fellowships to Outstanding Persons in the Field of Culture have also been supporting India’s varied arts, including the folk arts,

The Minister added that for supporting folk and other artistes who face indigence in their old age, the Ministry of Culture is operating a scheme known as the “Scheme of Financial Assistance to Persons Distinguished in Letters, Arts and Such Other Walks of Life Who May be in Indigent Circumstances and Their Dependents”. Under this scheme, financial assistance of Rs. 4000/- per month is given to the artistes (selected by the Expert Committee), who have made significant contribution to art and culture, are not less than 58 years of age and whose income does not exceed Rs. 4000/- per month.

Kumari Selja said, besides, the Sangeet Natak Akademi also supports folk art forms through its schemes of Training and Preservation of Traditional, Folk and Tribal Performing Arts, Akademi Awards and Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskars. The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, another autonomous organization under the Ministry of Culture, has documented and disseminated knowledge about these art forms, through several events which include exhibitions, audio-visual documentations, seminars, performances and publications. The National School of Drama is also implementing a scheme of Promotion of Folk and Tribal Arts, under which various folk and tribal performing art traditions are invited to participate in its National Theatre Festival and Bal Sangam.

The Anthropological Survey of India, has over the years, collected and documented certain folk art and craft forms, like Warli paintings, wall paintings of the Gond, musical instruments of different tribal and other communities etc. as part of its work. The Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya organizes exhibitions, workshops and symposia for the preservation of the creative and performing arts and culture of the people of this country, of which traditional folk art constitutes an important part, the Minister added.