WARANGAL: Though traditional folk artistes in erstwhile Warangal district are happy that 96 among them have been absorbed by the Department of Language and Culture, they were highly disappointed that the Information and Public Relation (I&PR) department has stopped utilising them to promote government welfare programmes in districts. Telangana government had appointed 550 folk artistes for promoting its programmes in rural areas.
According to Telangana Rashtra Janapada Kalakar Sangam’s erstwhile Warangal president Gadam Sudhakar, ever since the government had appointed artistes in the department, it had stopped taking the services of artistes from rural areas for publicity of government programmes and events. “We are very grateful to the Chief Minister that he provided jobs to a few folk artistes. But what about others who solely depend on this profession? We would be happy if I&PR involves us in their welfare programme promotion,” Sudhakar stated.
There are about 8,000 folk artistes in erstwhile Warangal and of them, only 96 have been provided jobs so far. The artistes also face problems registering themselves online with the department for getting identity cards.
So far, only 5,000 of the total 8,000 artistes were able to register themselves online. “Artistes have not been able to register online for the last six months. The website is not opening. When we brought it to the notice of the officials, they assured us that they would resolve the issue. But so far nothing has been done,” Sudhakar lamented. He urged the government to provide folk artistes health cards and facility to travel in buses and trains for free.
Meanwhile, Warangal urban district public relation officer DS Jagan said that they were utilising the services of folk artistes whenever the need arose. The state government has been providing `1,500 per month as old age pension to these artists apart from other benefits, he said.