The 23rd state-level finals of the ‘One Act Drama’ contest in Tribal language began in the Kuruknagar village in Tapan in South Dinajpur on Monday. The competition is being organized by the West Bengal Backward Classes Welfare Department and the Tribal Development Rights Department in association with the District Information and Cultural Department.

A total of 11 acts will be performed in the final competition by more than 300 artists from places like Alipurduar, Bankura, Paschim Medinipur, Birbhum, Burdwan, Purulia, Malda, Jhargram and other parts of the state. The competition will conclude on 31 January. District Magistrate, Sharad Kumar Dwivedi, Police superintendent Prasun Banerjee and Minister of State for North Bengal Development Department Bachhu Hansda were present in the opening ceremony of the finals. A fair is also being organized at the venue.

“A total of 11 teams from 11 zones in the state will take part in the event. Teams who reached the finals in the district-level got a chance to perform in the zonal-level contest, from where they have been selected for the finals here,” an official said. “We are proud of the government’s decision to select our village to hold the state level competition.

This will help us promote our culture and language. This is the first time in the district that a government-sponsored programme has been organized only for the tribal people,” said a local, Budhin Hansda. He also urged the district administration to include tribal songs and dances in different government- sponsored cultural programmes.

“Competitions like these will help minimize the gap in our society and let tribal people enrich and develop their culture more devoutly,” he said. District Magistrate, Mr Dwivedi, appreciated the event and said programmes like these will help people living in the district to keep alive their culture.