SAMBALPUR: Thousands of folk artistes from across Western Odisha under the aegis of Sambalpur-based Satyapir Seva Sangha, a folk artistes association, took out a rally and staged demonstration at the RDC (North division) here on Wednesday over various demands.
After converging at PHED Ground at Ainthapali here, they walked in a rally playing traditional musical instruments and performing their folk art forms like Pala, Sankirtan, Sanchar, Daskathia, Karma and Danda Nacha. Vehicular traffic was disrupted for several hours due to the rally. They also submitted a memorandum addressed to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik through the RDC, NBS Rajput, demanding
fulfilment of their demands. They are demanding identification of artistes and issuance of identity cards, provision of allowance to all folk artistes above the age of 40, hike in artiste allowance from Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000, formation of District Cultural Council in each district and annual grant of Rs 50,000 to Satyapir Sevasangha for conservation and documentation of dying art forms. Satyapir Seva Sangha general secretary Muralidhar Nayak said while traditional folk art forms of the region are displayed at various platforms, the artistes never get proper remuneration and continue to be neglected.
He added that if the State Government does not pay heed to their demand, they will travel to Bhubaneswar during the next Assembly session and intensify their agitation.