WB: Global Artists Generating Rural and Urban Livelihood at Grass-Root Level
| Didhiti Ghosh, Bureau Chief, IOP, Kolkata - 12 Feb 2019

W. Bengal: Global Artists Generating Rural and Urban Livelihood at Grass-Root Level


Report by Didhiti Ghosh, Bureau Chief, Indian Observer Post

Kolkata, Feb 12, 2019: Bridgeable Lines, a book of Bengali translations by Aihik Publication, was formally launched in Kolkata International Book Fair, 2019 recently. Renowned figures of contemporary American poetry namely Murat Nemet-Nejat, Adeena Karasick and Elizabeth Willis have showcased their work in the book. The book includes interviews apart from translations of 9 other poets with the ones who graced the evening.

The entire program is jointly organized by Kolkata Society for Cultural Heritage and Parijayi.

Kolkata Society for Cultural Heritage (KSCH), founded in 2012 is a social enterprise functioning at the grass root level for the permanent developmental changes of rural, urban and tribal areas of India. KSCH is creating livelihood opportunities by promoting the heritage and traditional culture of Bengal.

Couplets is an international poetical meet to provide a platform for reading and cultural exchange between countries. Murat Nemet Nejat, Adeena Karasick and Elizabeth Willis from United State of America came to read their poems and exchange the philosophical thoughts in its maiden international program this year.

Sourav Mukherjee, Founder-Director of KSCH said that the organization has been holding workshops and exhibitions for 3 years, the recent one being “Chitropot”, an exhibition of painting and sculpture where 16 artists from India and Bangladesh participated.

“Chitropot helps to get the buyers and sellers in a similar platform, to create a bridge which works as a catalyst to intercultural exchanges. It also helps to get rid of extra demands placed by any supportive agency,” said Mukherjee.

Apart from this, since 2017 KSCH has also collaborated with the Department of Forest, Government of West Bengal in the Sundarban Tiger Reserve areas to promote the traditional heritage of Bengal by installing traditional khadi towel-making machines and paddle husking machines. This helps to generate the livelihood for the forest-fringe villages.

Parijayi is a brand new venture to promote the community-led performing arts and crafts from the soils of Bengal.  It is working to make an impact
to the rural artisans’ community lives and provide them an exposure to the larger world.

According to Founder-Director Arpita Mukherjee, “Parijayi is a bridge between the artist community and the urban market. This collective development initiative also fosters Bengal’s rich traditional cultures.”

In the FY 2015-2016, the State budget allocated for the Tourism Industry was INR 2570 million, the same having witnessed a
phenomenal increase from INR 400 Million in 2010-11. Parijayi is also promoting community-led sustainable cultural tourism through utilizing it as 
a tool to merge urban and rural markets.

The total number of tourists visiting West Bengal during 2015 was 71.6 million, and organizations like the above are working together to take the number of tourists’ footfalls even more forward, in additional to promoting Bengal’s cultural heritage.

(DIDHITI GHOSH is a psychologist, journalist, script-writer, professor and a certified conference interpreter of the Spanish language. She is the Bureau Chief of INDIAN OBSERVER POST based in Kolkata. Contact: didhiti.24@gmail.com)

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