Bengal Folk Festival respite for impoverished folk artists

By Arnab Mitra

Kolkata: The Bangla Loka Utsav (Folk-Festival) kicked off on December 23 at Lal Dighi, just opposite to the Writer’s building in Kolkata, in presence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and other state ministers and senior officials.

The inaugural function was graced by Kartick Das Baul and various folk artists from different parts of Bengal.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “Ami chai Maa, Mati, Manush sobai hasuk. Lok Sangeet mane mati, tai mati ke sonman jananor jnyo sorkarer aei proyas (I want the Mother, the Soil, and the People to be happy. Folk Music has the flavor of the Soil, and it is to respect this soil, that the government has taken this initiative),” said the chief minister.

“Every folk artist from West Bengal will get an allowance from the government”, Banerjee declared.

Nathang Lepcha, a folk dancer from Darjeeling said, “I want to give my thanks to Mamata Banerjee for taking the initiative to popularize Bengal’s folk culture and to help the impoverished folk artists.”

Purulia’s Atish Munda, a folk singer, said, “Brother, we used to be able to provide just one meal for ourselves in a day. But god bless Didi, she has saved us…”

The 10-day festival will end on January 1. Folk-art lovers can visit Lal Dighi between 3PM-6PM and Princep Ghat between 4PM-8PM to enjoy the programmes put up.

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