Name of the Department: Information and Cultural Affairs Department
A new flagship project namely ‘Lokprasar Prakalpo’ has been introduced by the Department of Information & Cultural Affairs with the inspiration of Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee The main objectives of the project are - (I) to bestow dignity on folk artistes by issuing them identity cards, (2) to uphold the traditional folk forms of Bengal, (3) to revive nearly-extinct folk-forms of art and culture and (4) to uplift the socio economic conditions of artists associated with folk culture.
The Department of Information and Cultural Affairs has been implementing, the following programmes under 'Lokprasar Prakalpo':
(a) issuing identity card to each folk-artiste;
(b) arranging for monthly pension for veteran and distressed folk-artistes;
(c) granting of retainer fee to artistes; and
(d) arranging for the minimum income by engaging them in the public campaign programme on development projects.
(a) Issuing of Identity Cards
One of many objectives that the 'Lokprasar Prakalpo' is to bestow dignity on every folk-artistes. Unfortunately folk-artistes hardly get their due respect, and they remain ignored in the society. The Government has taken initiative to confer upon them their due honour through Lokprasar Prakalpo. So far, 1,94,300 artistes have been provided with identity cards across the state.
(b) Provisions for pensions for the needy and elderly folk artistes
There are many folk artistes in Bengal, who used to perform in various programmes with reputation and attracted attention of the audiences. Most of them are now unable to perform because of their old age. They don’t have definite source of income and there is nobody to look after them. The government helps them and provides social security for them through Lokprasar Prakalpo.
The folk artistes who are above 60 years of age are getting pension under Lokprasar Prakalpo. At present, in West Bengal about 8,596 artistes have been receiving Rs. 1000 per month.
(c) Retainer fee for the artistes
The enlisted folk artistes under the age of 60 years in Lokprasar Prakalpo, who are engaged in publicity campaign in different departments, have been receiving Rs. 1000 per month as retainer fee. Till now approximately 76,000 folk artistes have been receiving the retainer fee.
(d) Utilisation of services of the Folk Artistes for the publicity of Development Projects
Government is in the mission of publicising its Flagship Programme through Lokprasar Prakalpo among the people. For instance, the Folk Artistes are being utilized for disseminating information regarding the schemes like Khadyasathi, Kannyasree, Yubasree, Sikshasree etc. and programmes like Nirmal Bangla, Sarbo Sikhsa Avijan etc. to the common people. A yearlong campaign is organised through mobile Tableau Vans where folk artists are engaged by rotation in each district and sub division.
Office of the District Information & Cultural Officer, Birbhum
Old Circuit House, Sidho Kanhoo Bhawan, S. P. More, Suri, Birbhum