After the culture department promised help for 72- year-old folk singer Saraswati Devi, who had been living in penury under a tree in the Dangchaura village of Tehri, the department has now made clear its intention of providing help to 20 more artists from the state.
The pension scheme for the old age artists of the state now has more than 45 beneficiaries. The scheme was also being implemented since the time Uttarakhand was a part of Uttar Pradesh but the number of beneficiaries then was dismally low. The scheme is applicable to artists above sixty years of age who have difficulties in livelihood. The scheme covers the entire state of Uttarakhand and any artists can send applications. There is no ceiling on the number of artists to be chosen. The chosen artists are paid Rs 1000 per month.
This scheme is beneficial to the artists of traditional instruments of the state. There are various instruments as dhol sagar, Mochhang, Dhol, damau, mashkbeen, whose artists are living in penury due to dwindling demand.
As per Tamnay of the Dhad social organisation, they gave a list of 20 artists to the culture department so that they can be provided financial help and pensions. The culture department has said that it would also document their folk forms and provide pension to the artists so that they are able to live with dignity.
As per director Culture Beena Bhatt, they have approved a list of 20 folk artists from the state and they would be given pensions soon. The department has also invited applications from other artists to avail of this benefit.