Maharashtra ropes in artists to create awareness on Covid norms

The Maharashtra government, which is struggling to combat the virus spread ahead of the third wave, has found a novel idea of creating awareness on safety and compliance with Covid-19 norms.

The government has decided to rope in artists from the experimental theatre and folk arts who will perform solo or group performances across the state to create awareness among the people about the vaccination, social distancing, face masks, use of sanitiser and lack of crowding in public places. The government has allocated Rs 5 crore for this purpose.

The tourism and cultural affairs department under secretary Shailesh Jadhav in the government notification issued on Thursday said these artists through their performances will highlight the importance of avoiding the gathering in large numbers at religious functions, festivals, marriages. They will also underline the importance of proper care to be taken by the family members of old people and children so that they are not infected.

According to the notification, the selection of artists will be done with the help of Directorate of Cultural Affairs and Director General of Information and Public Relations. The local artists will be given priority at the district level while the committee headed by the district collector will supervise the organisation of awareness programmes in their respective district.

It will be binding of the headmaster of the zilla parishad school or gramsevak or talathi to give certificates to the artists who performed in rural areas. In case of urban areas, the officers authorised by ward officer or officers authorised by the CEO in municipality or talathi will issue similar certificates.

The artist for his or her solo performance will be paid an honorarium of Rs 500 per day but they will have to do at least seven performances. Such artists will get Rs 5,000 for performing for 10 days.

For a group of two or three artists they will have to do at least four performances and they will get Rs 500 per performance.

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