Tourism dept providing platform for folk artistes
Kolkata: At a time when the lockdown and the pandemic had adversely impacted the lives of artistes, the state Tourism department is providing a platform to the folk artistes across the state to perform on a regular basis at several tourist spots. The department is also tying up with the state MSME department to create facilities for sale of handicraft items at 6 of its tourist lodges located at Digha in East Midnapore, Bishupur in Bankura, Siliguri (Mainak Tourist Lodge), Jhargram, Birbhum (Rangabitan Tourist Lodge) and Jalpaiguri (Bhorer Alo).
The folk artistes were among the worst-affected by the lockdown. In the absence of any exhibition or fair, their livelihood was hit. The Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee instructed concerned departments to chalk out plans for providing a platform to the folk artistes maintaining Covid protocols.
"The tourists often get bored during the evening after the sightseeing gets over in the morning. The visitors find the performances by local folk artistes to be interesting," said a senior official of the state Tourism department.
The official added that the department arranges the logistics and room facilities for the folk artistes in the lodge itself as and when required.
The properties where the Tourism department has arranged for such performances are located at Digha in East Midnapore, Bishupur in Bankura, Siliguri (Mainak Tourist Lodge), Jhargram, Birbhum (Rangabitan Tourist Lodge) , Jalpaiguri (Bhorer Alo), Bakkhali in South 24 Parganas, Murti in Jalpaiguri, Medinipur (Mrittika), Maithon, Sundarnas, Tilabari in Doars, Jaldapara and Gadiara in Howrah.
Since August, the tourism sector has been opening up gradually in the state. During Durga Puja, all the 33 properties under the department had 100 per cent occupancy.
The tourists' appreciation of the folk performances has encouraged the department to promote the intangible heritage of Bengal by providing a taste of local cuisine and sports to the tourists visiting its own properties.
"All our properties have already been fully occupied for Christmas and New Year," said Nandini Chakravorty, Principal Secretary of the state Tourism department.