Welfare fund for folk artistes soon

Janapada Academy chairman Go Ru Channabasappa has donated his honorarium for three years totalling to Rs 1.80 lakh to the fund. The chairman gets a monthly honorarium of Rs 5,000. Several members of the Academy too have contributed their meeting allowance for the fund. Congress leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa has promised to donate Rs one lakh and the State government has released a grant of Rs 20 lakh, Channabasappa said.  “The plan is to raise a corpus of Rs one crore, keep the money as fixed deposit and utilise the interest for the welfare of  folk artistes. It is expected the government may also provide more funds. I would also talk to IT giants and philanthropists,” he said. Sources said the Academy has plans to divert the unutilised funds of All India Folk Convention held at Bidar for the corpus. A final decision is yet to be taken. Channabasappa said a committee would be formed to oversee the disbursal of funds from the corpus. The Academy chairman will head the committee. Two members and the accounts officer of the Academy and the undersecretary to Kannada and Culture Department will be the members of the panel.

The needy folk artiste should furnish a medical certificate testifying his or her illness/treatment, wound certificate/treatment documents in case of accidents to avail of the assistance. A database of the folk artistes in the State will be prepared to ensure  effective availability of funds to all the needy artistes. The Income Tax department has been requested to exempt tax on the donations to the Academy, Channabasappa said.

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