Consider providing relief to traditional musicians: HC

NEWS STATES TAMIL NADU
TAMIL NADU
Consider providing relief to traditional musicians: HC
Legal Correspondent
CHENNAI 06 SEPTEMBER 2020 00:34 IST
UPDATED: 06 SEPTEMBER 2020 00:34 IST
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‘Hundreds dependent on temple events and marriages have suffered financially during lockdown’
The Madras High Court has directed the State government to consider providing relief of ₹1,000 to traditional musicians, such as those playing thavil, nadaswaram and similar instruments, after soliciting applications and getting them registered with a welfare board for folk artistes.

Justices M.M. Sundresh and R. Hemalatha passed the orders while disposing of a batch of PIL petitions that said that hundreds of traditional musicians, dependent on temple events, marriages and such occasions, had suffered financially during the COVID-19 lockdown. The petitioners said that many such musicians had not received any benefit, since they were not registered with the welfare board for folk artistes. These people had been demanding a separate welfare board for traditional musicians and their representations in this regard was pending, they said.

Responding to the petitions, Additional Advocate General S.R. Rajagopal informed the court that the government had provided an assistance of ₹1,000 each to 37,000 beneficiaries who had registered with the welfare board. Only the unregistered musicians were denied the benefit, he said. Since the court had asked the government to consider their plea sympathetically, as almost all temples in the State remained shut between April and August, the government had decided to consider disbursing relief to around 2,500 musicians who had made applications to get themselves registered, he added.

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After recording his submission, the judges directed the government to consider if it would be possible to grant the relief even to those submitting applications in future to get registered with the board and agree to pay the necessary amounts that they are supposed to for availing various benefits.

In so far as the plea for constitution of a separate welfare board for traditional musicians was concerned, the judges left it open to the government to take a call after considering the representations pending before it.

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