art and culture
Kolkata-based humanitarian worker seeks survival package from Centre in open letter to PM Modi
Trans World Features | @twfindia | 15 Apr 2020
Kolkata: Amid the havoc economic crisis created by the novel Coronavirus pandemic in India, Sundeep Bhutoria, a Kolkata and Rajasthan-based individual associated with many national and international NGOs, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought a survival package 'at the earliest for the impoverished artisans, craftsmen and cultural workers of the country.'

In his letter, he pointed out that thousands of poor artisans, folk artistes and others who are engaged in various artistic and cultural activities, barely manage to make ends meet even during normal times.


"We work with several such performing artistes and writers while organising events in 30 cities in India and overseas on a non-commercial basis to provide them with a platform and humbly contribute to the sustenance and spread of Indian art, culture and heritage," he wrote in the letter.


"In the face of this pandemic, thousands of such artisans, cultural workers, and craftsmen are enduring immense hardship. They do not even have a proper platform to articulate their grievances," Bhutoria noted.


Hailing the Centre's initiative, he mentioned that several such artisans across the country were touched and inspired by PM Modi's recent visit to the Hunar Haat at Rajpath, India Gate.


"These very artisans and their families are now in desperate need of Governmental support to sustain themselves and keep their traditional crafts and skills alive," he urged in his letter.


The crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak threatens to wipe out vast swathes of India’s cultural legacy and heritage built over thousands of years.


"The future -- indeed the present -- looks grim and cries out for urgent Governmental intervention," Bhutoria observed seeking a survival package for them.


"In the past five years, many excellent Yojnas have been started by the Government of India for the poor. It is my humble request to kindly work out a survival package at the earliest for the impoverished artisans, craftsmen and cultural workers of India," he added.


Speaking about his organisation's initiative to help the artisans, Bhutoria penned: "I assure you that we have already started in our own small way to raise resources to help some such artistes and artisans tide over this crisis. But even the slightest hand-holding from the Government at this critical time will give these anonymous heroes renewed hope to hold the flag of India’s artistic and cultural heritage aloft."