STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Eminent theatre Director, Balwant Thakur-the highest Indian honor holder in performing arts who has also been the Secretary J&K Academy of Art Culture & Languages and Regional Director of Indian Council for Cultural Relations, J&K pleaded here today for the financial assistance to the community of artists who are in in extremely indigent circumstances.
Forwarding his communication to the Lt. Governor of UT of J&K, Manoj Sinha, Balwant Thakur submitted that artists, particularly the performing artists who have no other source of income are in a very bad shape due to the COVID-19 crises followed by continued lock down in the UT. Their livelihood depends on the small cultural assignments offered by various cultural organizations and agencies including J&K Academy of Art Culture and languages, Song and Drama Division, Zonal Cultural Centres, Doordarshan, ICCR and Radio.
Being a nominee of Government of J&K to the General Council of Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, he has already taken-up the matter with the authorities of National Academy of Music and Drama and Ministry of Culture Government of India to find out means and ways to support the community of performing artists in a dignified manner.
Though the devastation of COVID-19 has disturbed the entire economics of the country but the community of performing artists has been severely affected. He particularly referred to the traditional performers of both the Jammu and Kashmir divisions who totally rely on their artistic assignments. The community of artists is so sensitive that they will shy away from seeking assistance and will continue to suffer in these hours of crises
Balwant further suggested the Lt. Governor that a designated Government agency be assigned to identify such artists who are in urgent need of financial assistance and support for their survival. While making the selection of artists for help and support, care should be taken that a larger body of senior people from the community be involved to ensure fairness and transparency in such distributions. The selection list should not limit to the performers but should also include technicians, anchors, and other off-stage workers. In these difficult hours, the artists around the world are being supported by their respective governments.
He expressed not only his confidence but full faith that Honorable Lt. Governor will honor his request in the larger interest of the survival of art and artists.