Devendra Fadnavis hikes monetary reward for artists winning accolades

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday announced that land would be provided to start a branch of Sahitya Kala academy in the state and also that the monetary reward for artists who win awards in the fields of art and culture would be hiked.

Devendra FadnavisDevendra Fadnavis. Pic/PTI

"People only see Mumbai as the financial capital of the country. But the city is also the art, literature, theatre and cinema capital of the country. In 1857, with the inception of Sir JJ School of Art, a new era started in this field and after that artists have got immense respect in Mumbai," Fadnavis said.

The Chief Minister was addressing a gathering here after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a plaque to mark the inauguration of the new building complex of the Bombay Art Society.

Fadnavis praised NCP president Sharad Pawar, who was present on the occassion, for providing the land to Bombay Art Society to develop a complex. "If they (Bombay Art Society) expect us to start a branch of Sahitya Kala academy in the state, I assure that the government would definitely provide land for it," he said.

He said art and literature has an important place in Maharashtra, and the government has therefore decided to increase monetary reward to child artists and others who win awards in the field. "Money does not matter but still child artists only get Rs 500 and other artists get Rs 25,000. After I spoke to the (state) Cultural Affairs Minister (Vinod Tawde), we have now decided that child artists would get Rs 10,000 and others would receive Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh," he said.

Meanwhile, Pawar, while addressing the audience, said Mumbai is a 'treasure' for artists and asked the government to provide them with housing facilities. "When the state was formed, there was a time when Chief Ministers like Yashwantrao Chavan and Vasantrao Naik provided land to artists where they could live. The (present) government needs to continue doing that," he said.

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