The Maharashtra government has roped in at least 320 organisations to inform the public about government schemes and spread stories of beneficiaries through folk art in rural areas and street plays in urban ones.
In a government resolution, the state General Administration Department said it has assessed that folk art and street plays are more effective to disseminate information about government schemes than traditional print and electronic media.
“The state government has prepared a list of organisations with expertise in folk art and street plays to disseminate information on government schemes and tell information about beneficiaries through folk art in rural areas and street plays in urban areas,” the state government resolution stated.
Each organisation will have its own district, in which it will spread the government’s message. The organisations, which include troupes of folk art, will each have 10 members including singers and musicians. Each performance would be of at least 30 minutes. If there is a district for which an organisation has not been selected, then one in a neighbouring district will be given the contract to perform there, it said.
Each organisation or troupe would have to perform at least twice or a maximum of five times in a day. They would have to submit proof of each performance by getting a certificate from either a district information officer, the principal of Zilla Parishad school, officers of state government, sarpanch, gramsevak or village talathi. Proofs would also include video recordings on phone or camera, or a photo with GPS information.
Each organisation would be paid Rs 5,000 per performance, Rs 10,000 for rehearsal and Rs 2,000 for script per skit.
Opposition parties have been criticising the state government for spending large amounts of money for publicity.