Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Cultural Affairs Minister Amit Deshmukh on Thursday approved a lump sum relief package for artists, folk artists, drivers of folk art troupes, its owners and producers who are affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. A meeting with the Cultural Affairs Department was held at CM's residence - Varsha today under the chairmanship of Uddhav Thackeray.
Maharashtra has been battling against covid pandemic for the last one and a half year ever since the outbreak of virus. The ban on cultural events in the state in the wake of covid-19 has led to financial crisis for many artists. Taking a note of this, CM Uddhav Thackeray today announced financial assistance of Rs 5,000 each to 56,000 artists in the state.
The state currently has about 8,000 artists in Mumbai, Thane and Pune while about 48,000 artists are there in the rest of the districts. Each artist will be given Rs 5,000, the total amount counts to Rs 28 crore.
Various art troupes are working in the field of experimental art in the state. Covid is facing financial crisis due to non-experimentation throughout the year. Artists of Shahiri, Khadigammat, Sangeetbari, Tamasha Phad full time, Tamasha Phad - seasonal, Dashavatar, Natak, Zadipatti, Vidhinatya, Circus and Touring Talkies will be helped with Rs 6 crore.
Apart from this, Rs. 1 crore will be spent for the survey of artists in the state, selection of artists and other incidental expenses, said the Minister of Culture, Amit Deshmukh.
The meeting was attended by Cultural Affairs Minister Amit Deshmukh, Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte, Additional Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister Ashish Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Vikas Kharge, Managing Director of Maharashtra Film, Theater and Cultural Development Corporation Manisha Verma, Secretary for Cultural Affairs Saurabh Vijay and other officials.
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