Tope keeps his word; funds soon to promote folk literature

The Maharashtra Rajya Loksahitya Samiti (MRLS),a pet project of the late Deputy Prime Minister Yashwantrao Chavan and the first chief minister of Maharashtra,may finally see the light of day as the government has decided to allocate much-needed funds to the samiti.

Written by Ardhra Nair | Published: June 4, 2013 1:24 am

The Maharashtra Rajya Loksahitya Samiti (MRLS),a pet project of the late Deputy Prime Minister Yashwantrao Chavan and the first chief minister of Maharashtra,may finally see the light of day as the government has decided to allocate much-needed funds to the samiti.

After Newsline reported the matter on May 20,Higher and Technical Education Minister Rajesh Tope promised to look into the matter and called a meeting on May 21.

“The minister took cognisance of the matter and promised every possible effort to revive the samiti. After he consulted the secretaries concerned,we sent a proposal seeking allocation of Rs 75 lakh for the samiti. The funds will be passed in the monsoon session of the Assembly,” said PR Gaikwad,Director,Higher Education.

As per the government definition,the samiti is responsible for research and promotion of folk culture and literature in the state. The higher education department had sent eight proposals to the ministry seeking funds. The first was sent on March 21 last year and the latest on May 13 this year.

The proposals sought money for state-level conventions,introduction of folklore in school syllabus,research on dialects spoken in border areas of the state,grant for authors of folk literature,and folk literature dictionary.

The samiti has been redundant after the tenure of its former chairperson,the late Sarojini Babar.

“Whe she was the chairperson fifteen years ago,Babar did excellent work to revive folk literature and songs. After her,Shivaji Swant and DT Bhosale couldn’t do enough due to paucity of funds. Bhosale even resigned owing to no funds being allocated to the samiti,” said MLC Ullas Pawar .

He added,“It is very important for such samitis to continue or else our folklore will be lost. I had taken up this issue with the higher authorities on two occasions. They promised action but nothing happened. I hope the funds are allocated during this monsoon session.”

Keshav Phalke,a noted linguist and writer who was appointed as the chairman of MRLS on October 3,2011,said,“Only yesterday,I received a letter from the higher education director Gaikwad. As per the letter,the minister has directed Gaikwad to ensure at least one meeting is held by the samiti every two months. The allocation of funds was promised in the past but nothing happened. I am not sure if the funds will be allocated during this monsoon session,” said Phalke.

Phalke said if the funds are cleared by the Assembly,it will take time to reach us.

“There are reserved funds with the higher education department. Some money should be allocated from these reserved funds so that the samiti at least starts its work,” added Phalke.

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