Over 400 street artists availed of Delhi govt fellowship

- June 3, 2024
| By : Idrees Bukhtiyar |

The fellowship programme was executed by the Sahitya Kala Parishad, an academy of music, dance, drama and fine arts operating under Delhi government

TOPICAL: Most shows done by the artists centred around social issues and government welfare schemes

As many as 447 candidates out of 573 applicants have received Delhi government’s Street Performance Fellowship since its inception in 2019.

An RTI filed by Patriot has revealed, “447 artists out of a total number of 573 have been awarded the fellowship.”

Officials stated that the remaining candidates didn’t participate in shows, which was part of the criteria.

The fellowship programme was introduced by the Art, Culture & Languages Department, Govt of NCT of Delhi under the leadership of former deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. The department announced a Street Performance Fellowship for 1,000 young talents in August in 2019.

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The fellowship programme was executed by the Sahitya Kala Parishad, an academy of music, dance, drama and fine arts operating under Delhi government. 

According to the RTI, most of the shows centred around relevant social issues and government welfare schemes.

“The performances showcased have been based on themes like drugs, road safety, happiness in life, Yamuna cleanliness, education, health and pollution,” said an official from the Sahitya Kala Parishad department. 

The RTI further revealed that a total of 2,000 shows were conducted over a period of one year.

Officials stated that the fellowship programme commenced in January, 2021 and concluded in December, 2021.

“Around 450 candidates were recruited by the department. They performed various acts at different locations in the national capital including metro stations, malls, markets and others,” she said.

She mentioned that there were around 40 teams of artists in the fellowship. 

“We had 10 persons each in every team,” the official stated.

The fellowship, also called street theatre or performing arts fellowship, was launched to encourage, promote and mentor young talents. 

“Street performers are a very important part of our cultural fraternity but they have not been recognised by the governments earlier. We want to empower, encourage and strengthen the street performing art. Therefore, this initiative is being taken. Street theatre or nukkad natak always gives a strong social message in the form of performance. Hence, we believe that this will help bring social change,” Sisodia had said. 

The government had said that the fellowship will support 1,000 selected candidates to promote their skills in street theatre. 

“The Delhi government will accept application till September 15, 2019. Applications are invited from individuals working in the field of acting, direction, script-writing, dance, music and other forms of street performances,” they said. 

It was said that 1,000 fellows will be divided into 100 groups and each group will have a maximum of 10 artists and each of these 100 groups will be performing at least four times a month.

“An individual fellow will be provided with Rs 5,000 per month and an additional Rs 4,000 will be provided for the group leaders of the individual groups for the logistical arrangement per show. The performances will take place across the city,” it had said.

Applicants’ age should be between 18 and 40 years and they will be selected based on interview, the government had said. 

“This was a one-year fellowship plan, and the government was planning to extend but it didn’t happen,” said a Sahitya Kala Parishad department official.

“We awarded fellowship to artists despite the pandemic in 2021,” the official added.