The central government pays a pension of Rs 4,000 per month to senior folk artists in the state. However, as the list of 4,000 artists has not been sent to the Centre, all these artists are still deprived of honorarium. Congress Seva Dal president Dr Vasant Thakur, in a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has demanded immediate submission of the list to the central authorities to avail benefits during this crisis period.
Senior artists in the state are paid a fixed monthly honorarium by the state government. In the same way, the central government started a pension and medical aid scheme for artists. Under this, an honorarium of Rs. 4,000 is paid every month. The Centre had written a letter on July 1, 2015 to the states asking for a list of folk artists so as to pay honorarium on regular monthly basis.
Accordingly, the state cultural ministry had registered 15,000 artists to avail benefits of pension and other medical aid. It was like a compulsory to send these applications to the Centre for further process. However, even after five years, the higher authority has not still received complete list of the senior folk artists
As a result, thousands of folk artists are still deprived of their honorarium and are now facing starvation in the present situation. “In view of this, the state government should send this list to the Centre immediately,” demands Vasant Thakur. A copy of the memorandum has also been sent to state cultural affairs minister Amit Deshmukh.
The COVID-19 lockdown has brought misery to thousands of folk artists who are facing starvation. The state government should immediately act upon the demand and send the list to union government to avail benefits of honorarium and other medical facilities.
– Dr. Vasant Thakur, city president, Congress Seva Dal