File image of Organization of Musicians and Artistes of Sikkim members taking out a rally in support of their demands. Image courtesy: Facebook

Organization of Musicians and Artistes of Sikkim (OMAS) is conducting a signature petition on July 13 at MG Marg in Gangtok for introduction and passing of the Sikkim Artistes Protection & Guarantee Act (SAPGA) 2019 bill in the State Assembly.

This decision was taken during the general body and executive committee of OMAS to provide a permanent solution to all stakeholders in creative fields across the spectrum.

An OMAS press release stated that the organization felt that Sikkim urgently needs a law to empower, protect and hone state artistes engaged in creative field spanning different sectors.

“The need was felt particularly for those who earn a living through creative arts. In view of a near absent ecosystem for artists in Sikkim this bill can not only create platform but also give every artist a blanket protection of dignity and security,” it is added.

The release informed that important features should be in the bill are fixed income for artistes and artisans of Sikkim, to provide employment based on passion towards a progressive creative society and to protect traditional art and culture of Sikkim.

It would also assure benefits and platform to entrepreneurs who are passionate about event management, artists of Sikkim will be given exposure trips on a national and international level, assure market economy for the artists of Sikkim where they can showcase their talent on national and global level.

The bill also aims at ensuring a basic system of payment to Sikkimese artists working in productions shot in Sikkim, allocation of a certain budget for artistes, providing space or galleries for display of art and handicrafts of Sikkimese artistes.

It also envisages at providing amphitheatres for artistes particularly in the field of music, fashion and dance, relaxation of taxes in the entertainment field and setting up of a semi autonomous body for artist of Sikkim.

The bill also aims at encouraging and equipping film makers with the required technology and special discount for Manan Kendra for Sikkimese artistes.

“OMAS has successfully campaigned for the rights of our artists in the past. We hope to continue this intervention in a positive direction. We urge the government to look into this bill positively and would be more than willing to give our inputs in consultations with related stakeholders,” the release said.

OMAS has thanked all artistes, creative individuals and citizens for overwhelming support to the petition and appealed to all the artists and citizens to support the campaign by signing the petition on July 13 from 10 am to 5 pm at M G Marg.

Sagar Chhetri

Sagar Chhetri is Northeast Now Correspondent in Gangtok. He can be reached at: sagchhetri@gmail.com

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