Through the Lok Prasar Prakalpa, the Trinamool Congress Government has revived Bengal’s folk culture through promoting folk artistes and providing for their economic betterment.
This initiative for folk artistes was taken by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee herself in an effort to restore the lost glory of the State.
Every month, the State Government is providing them with a pension, as well as an unemployment allowance. Besides, the folk artistes are gifted an honorarium at every event. Nearly two lakh local artists have been benefited by this initiative till date.
Folk artistes between 18 and 60 years of age receive a retainership fee of Rs 1,000 and in addition, an opportunity for four performances per month, with Rs 1,000 being paid for each. Senior artistes, that is, those above 60, receive a similar sum as monthly pension.
They get opportunities to perform at Government functions and at fairs organised by the State. Many Government schemes are promoted through their songs. This helps in awareness about the schemes reaching the farthest corners of Bengal.
The State Government has been organising the annual Biswa Bangla Lok Sanskriti Utsabs in Kolkata (the third one being held last January) to promote the talent of folk artistes in Kolkata. This festival is one of the highlights of the city’s festival scene.
These efforts by the State Government have lifted the art forms from the point of near-extinction to that of widespread popularity. There is a continuous to spread the popularity of these arts all over India and abroad as well.