Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced that the state government will provide a stipend of Rs.1,000 each every month to 50,000 folk artists identified by the government on account of their poor economic plight.
Banerjee said this while inaugurating Bangla Sangeet Mela 2015-16 at Nazrul Mancha. “Bengal is a land of immense talent. But our artistes were ignored in the past,” she said. “In the past four years, we have registered 50,000 folk artists who will get Rs.1,000 as monthly stipend and perform at different government programmes,” she added. “We are giving opportunities to new talent so that people may know about their art. We have felicitated folk artists across the districts so that their talents are recognised,” the chief minister said.
“My adivasi brothers from Junglemahal are here with dhamsa-madol.We also have our baul brothers and sisters. Artistes are very close to our heart. I always listen to music, specially when I am travelling. Music brings a breath of fresh air in our lives.” Bangla Sangeet Mela 2015 will be held for the next 10 days in various venues where 5000 artists will participate. The chief minister declared that this year a special category of awards was created named after the iconic artists who defined the golden era of music - Pulak Bandyopadhyay, Hemanta Mukhopdhyay, Salil Chowdhury, Manna Dey, SD Burman, Pratima Bandyopadhyay, RD Burman, Firoza Begum and others. Like every year, many young talents and veteran musicians were honoured at Bangla Sangeet Mela.
Apart from this, the chief minister on Monday conferred Life Time achievement awards on renowned music director Bappi Lahiri and renowned playback singer Kumar Sanu. Though Kumar Sanu was not present to receive his award, Bappi Lahiri received the award from the chief minister and said he is honoured that “didi” has called him. “Though I moved around the world, but I’m proud to be Bengali and I never forget that I belong to Kolkata,” he said. Two tabla maestros - Anindya Chattopadhyay and Kumar Bose - along with music director Santanu Moita, renowned singer Sreeradha Bandopadhyay, Fakir Alamgir of Bangladesh along with others received Sangeet Maha Samman award. Dwijen Mukhopadhyay,Sandhya Mukhopadhyay and Nachiketa Ghosh were also conferred special awards.
Banerjee inaugurated Bangla Sangeet Mela 2015-16.