Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Artistes in the city have thanked the state government for announcing grants for non-government cultural organisations after a gap of two and a half years.
However, several groups from Bhopal are disappointed that they have been ignored by the government. Many of these groups are run by artists who depend only on cultural activities for their livelihood.
The state Culture Department has announced grants totalling more than Rs two crore to 365 cultural organisations, of which 209 are from Bhopal. The grants pertain to the fiscal year 2020-21. Tulsi Manas Pratisthan, Bhopal has been sanctioned the highest amount of Rs 10 lakh followed by Nirala Shiksha Samiti, Indore (Rs nine lakh).
Bishna Chauhan from Sagar Guncha Natrang Cultural Evam Welfare Society said thanks to the department for releasing grants after a long time. But she also expressed her disappointment that some groups which have been doing genuine work have been denied grants by the government.
She told Free Press that if there was any shortcoming in the documents presented by any organisation, the government could have informed them and asked them to complete the formalities. “The Union Culture Ministry does that,” she said.
Saroj Sharma of Koshish Natya Sanstha said that she would like to know the reason for her organisation being ignored. “I am a pure artist, not associated with any political ideology or party,” she said.
According to Vibha Shrivastava of Ekrang Socio-cultural Society, she was not getting the grant for the past two years. “My play was the only one from the state to be selected in the first phase of International Bharat Rang Mahotsav.” she said.
KG Trivedi of Trikarshi Natya Sanstha said that it was for the government to decide whom it wants to give grants to and whom it wants to ignore. Trivedi was feted with the Shikhar Samman of the state government.
Hamidullah Khan ‘Mamu’ whose group has been organising Iftekhar Samriti Natya Samaroh in Bhopal for the past 29 years, says that he may have to give the festival a miss this year. “Only the government can tell why we were not considered eligible,” he said.
The rent for Ravindra Bhavan has been doubled. It has become unaffordable for small groups, Khan added.
The rules for sanction of grants are laid down. A five-six member committee scrutinises all the applications and takes a decision based on whether on the documents submitted by the applicant organisations. The documents to be furnished are clearly mentioned in the advertisement.
-Aditi Kumar Tripathi, director, Culture