#SavetheArtist is an initiative, which will have a series of online interactions with the eminent artists of Indian Classical Music, Dance, Folk Arts and Craft, Media, Culture, Theater and Literature on the challenges they are facing during this pandemic and the uncertainties that surround their art forms.
Our sixth episode focused on the issue of Bunkars of Varanasi, who are suffering huge losses due to the lockdown. A whole weavers community of Bunkars, keeping alive the tradition of the famous ‘Benarasi Sarees’, is now facing threat in the society for their existence worldwide. Some of them even selling their equipment’s, selling vegetables, pulling cycle rickshaw for the sake of survival.
During our interaction, Mr. Sarfaraz Ahmed (President , Rashtriya Bunker Action committee) shared his concerns for the community through a short video and appeal the government to take action to resolve this issue. With a situation put forth by Mr. Sarfaraz Khan ji in Varanasi, the derogatory way in which our artists are forced to make a living seems too big of a situation.
With this issue in Lieu, Ustad Kamal Sabri, put forth a beautiful and mesmerizing Sarangi performance. He enlightened us about the role his father and Guru ( Padma Vibhushan Ustad Sabri Khan) and almighty played in helping him achieve a solo success for an instrument like sarangi and put it on the world map. The way he humbly supported our cause means the world to our artists in need. How an artist spirituality plays a role in in an artists’ life was also discussed. Ustad Kamal Sabri enlightened the audience on how he keeps his art alive, his dedication to the art and how he is passing it on his legacy. Ustad Kamal Sabri ji extended his full support and appreciation to the cause and his best wishes to fully help the artists who represent our culture and heritage .
In current times to the pandemic, artists across in our country the arts spectrum are suffering from difficulties arising due to loss of livelihood and no means of sustenance. Many artists from the arts communities have been forced to take up other menial tasks to sustain their livelihood. Some of them have resorted to selling day to day wares on streets, while some of them are selling masks and other utilities, while some of the technologically proficient artists are adapting to the technology medium to conduct workshops and sell their artistic creations. The art and crafts, which has kept the human culture alive for thousands of years, now dwindles to make its way through these modern times. As an appreciation to our culture, it is our duty to support the artists who truly, wholeheartedly take our arts and crafts forward and uplift, patronize and share it with the entire civilization.
In these trying times for artists, #SaveTheArtist, founded by eminent Educationist, cultural and Media consultant, Mrs. Suman Doonga, is bringing onboard the forum various artists of all fields who will be able to promote their work under “Meet and Greet” online series. With this project, they also aim to support and help towards the self-sustenance of artists across the various spheres of arts, specially the rural and folk art form communities , by bringing them and their artistic creations closer to the patrons and followers across the globe. This initiative has received wide support by eminent persons from across the arts and media industry. Some of the eminent personalities who have come onboard the #SaveTheArtist online platform to support the cause for artists across the country are as follows: Eminent Art Critic – Smt. Manjiri Sinha
Stalwarts of Indian Classical Music like Pt. Ronu Majumdar, Vidushi. Sunanda Sharma, Vid. Kamala Shankar, Shri Vivek Sonar supported this cause.
Noted celebrated Anchor and Broadcaster of AIR Shri Jitendra Singh Voice of India also supported the cause.
Artists from the folk arts field like Shri Anup Ranjan Pandey (Theatre Artist – Padma Shri Awardee) and noted crafts artists like Smt. Meera Thakur( Sikki Grass Weaving), Shri Kamal Patua( Kalighat Painting) , Manimala Chitrakar ( Patua Painting) and Shri Ram Singh Soni ( Sanjhi Paper Cutting) have given their voices in support of SaveTheArtists cause.
Through their performing art forms, Artistes and Artisans represent the divine creations of God. The arts convey emotions, touch our hearts, heal the pains and sorrows, and cleanse our mind and soul.
The Indian Classical music , dance, literature, cinema and the traditional folk arts and crafts embody the essence of the rich culture and heritage that is being preserved by artistes who have dedicated their life through years of disciplined practice, creativity, fine art and performing arts.
Through this online initiative, they aim to give our audience the opportunity to experience and interact with artists, and give inspiration to pursue their quest for learning as artistes convey their words of wisdom through their journey, discipline of riyaz, untiring efforts and dedication to the art form.
They aim to instill hope, positive attitude, mental strength and peace, during these difficult times of COVID-19, thereby inspiring people across the country to overcome this crisis together.