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The Sahitya Rangbhoomi Pratisthan Awards Fellowships to Mohit Takalkar and Manaswini Lata Ravindra…

MTG editorial

The Sahitya Rangbhoomi Pratishthan, with the objective of promotion of art and artists has announced a FELLOWSHIP of one year to two experimental theatre activists with outstanding talent and dedication to their area of activity.

The recipients of the FELLOWSHIP: Mohit Takalkar and Manaswani Lata Ravindra.

Both have been in the field of intimate theatre for some years and have made significant contribution for the revival of Marathi Experimental theatre. The fellowships which are Rs 100,000 each, are named after Late Mr. Madhu Ganu, a founder member of the Pratishthan.

Last year, the FELLOWSHIPS were awarded to Sachin Kundalkar and Satish Manwar.

‘Art for art’s sake’ does not guarantee that artistic efforts will endure. A tremendous amount of advocacy and a well-planned and well- executed promotional activities are an effective response to what is closely the need of the hour — preserving our rich artistic ambience and passing on a vibrant cultural legacy.

Against this background, in 2003, the Pratishthan was established in Pune to fulfil some of the many wants of the theatre and art community which would help in preserving the rich artistic ambience. The Trust, started by the artists themselves, was well aware that art could not thrive on poverty. In its own modest way, the Trust did not want promising artists to turn their back on their calling and settle down to more mercenary pursuits for want of financial stability. Again, the Trust wanted to make a humble attempt to ensure that veteran artists who had followed their muse and spent their lives in creative pursuits, should not spend their old age in penury.

To give shape to this vision, the Pratishthan has plans to undertake a variety of activities. The initial thrust is in the area of literature and theatre. The Pratishthan will produce plays, publish books, buy rights of literary publications, grant awards, scholarships and fellowships to artists.

The ANNUAL FELLOWSHIP to experimental theatre artists is the first step in this direction.

Significantly, Pratishthan is the first organisation in Maharashtra, may be in India too, to have given fellowship to practicing artists. So far, there have been scholarships and fellowships to students during their school and collegiate career. The fellowships are also given for higher studies and specialisations. But not for continuation of work in his/her own field. The Trust wanted to break away from this practice and encourage youngsters with artistic talent and involvement and recognise and support them.

The ANNUAL FELLOWSHIP, it is hoped, will give the artists some minimum financial stability for a period of one year so that they continue to give their best. The amount of Rs.100,000 will be given in the form of 12 cheques, cashable every month, so that the artist is assured of the monthly payment without any procedural delay. Secondly, the fellowship has no preconditions. It is given on the basis of the recipient’s contribution and level of dedication to his area of activity and he/she has the freedom to use the amount as per his desire and requirement. Thirdly, the Trust does not call for applications to give these fellowships. The selection is done by a committee appointed by the Pratishthan.

This year, the Committee consisted of Vijay Tendulkar and Satish Alekar.

*The above information is courtesy Ramu Ramanathan.

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