The Union Ministry of Culture’s ambitious project of creating an artists’ repository spread over six lakh villages in India will begin from Jan Sangh stalwart Deen Dayal Upadhyay’s hometown, Mathura on June 17. The beginning of the Rs 470 crore ‘Cultural Mapping of India’ project, touted to be the biggest project of the culture ministry at the birthplace of the BJP-RSS ideologue, is part of the year-long plan of the government to celebrate his 100th birth anniversary, officials said.
The project will rate artists and writers on the basis of which they will be sent to various events. It will begin from June 17 and also receive grant-in-aid under various cultural schemes administered by the ministry. “This project is not just to create a database of artists, but eventually it will lead to generation of jobs and also help in standardising honorariums.
“All those unrecognised underpaid artists will get value for their work. This is the biggest project undertaken by this department and will help thousands of artists across the country get what they deserve for their talent,” Culture Minister, Mahesh Sharma told PTI.
As a pilot project that began in mid 2015, the ministry has already graded 185 artists into three categories — O (Outstanding), P (Promising), W (Waiting) — for representing India in festivals abroad. This grading was recently done by a high-powered committee comprising the ministry’s bureaucrats and selected artists.
According to officials of the culture ministry, such a ranking would ensure “fairness in participation of artists at various events” and help in “fixing their honorarium”. Artists can also apply themselves on the website of the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT), an autonomous institution under the ministry and the nodal agency for the project and fill an application form which lists the different art forms including architecture, sculpture, painting, handicrafts, puppetry, music, dance, theatre and written literature from where the artist can choose his/her speciality.
These are further subdivided into fields like classical, folk, contemporary, solo, road show, ritualistic, vocal, instrumental, devotional. There is a separate column for “others”. The artists can upload their audio, video and bio-data on the site.
Officials said that many art forms which do not fall under any category will also be given due recognition and thus get grant-in-aid and other financial aid from the government applicable under the project.