HC bats for welfare board for temple artistes

The Madras High Court has directed the government to consider setting up a separate welfare board for ‘Mangalam Isai’ artistes who perform at temples, like those who play nadaswaram, thavil, thalam, mridangam, flute and veena, besides Bharatanatyam dancers.
Madras High Court
Madras High Court


Disposing of a batch of pleas seeking to provide the relief amount to those artistes who had not registered themselves, a division bench comprising Justice MM Sundresh and Justice R Hemalatha recorded the government submission that besides the 37,000 people already registered, 2,500 fresh applications were filed by temple artistes. They would be registered and the relief would be provided in six weeks, it added. The bench led by Justice Sundresh said barring the welfare boards for construction and transport workers, the others were not functioning as per norms, mainly in terms of collecting one per cent contribution that makes it possible to provide them financial assistance in case of emergency.
The bench then sought the government to consider the plea to form a separate board for temple artistes instead of linking them with folk artistes’ board, as the former by themselves form a substantial number. Justice Sundresh also noted that it could not be said that now that the temples have reopened, their lives would be back on track instantly, and sought the government to accept any further applications that came from such unregistered artistes.
He also stressed on moving ahead by not only getting them registered but ensuring that contribution was collected from them to enable it serve like a pension scheme on a permanent basis for such artistes.

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