Arts and artists are fundamental to our social well-being and their work is often a crucial part of community life. When artists are properly supported, they provide many benefits to the communities in which they live and work. However, artists are typically under-resourced despite the work and services they provide, and they are often undervalued and under-recognized for the roles that they play in society.
In addition to the problems artists face with resources and perception, insecurity and uncertainty of the future is a part of artists' lives in India and it has become sharper as artists have to live against the market today. Presently, there are systems of support for artists like awards, fellowships, pensions (administered by the state and central Governments), aid to individuals and organisations but none of the above systems offer a comprehensive social security module in which artists are not just beneficiaries, but active premium-holders.
In order to address this lacunae, India Theatre Forum, an independent network of theatre practitioners, has developed a social security module. Named Kala Kalyana, this is a project initiated to develop a participatory Insurance scheme for artists and their dependents to provide security against ill health, accidents, infirmity, death and old age. The Kala Kalyana module has done some preliminary research into the existing social security modules, and has developed an outline of a scheme, with some details of what it should cover and by whom it should be administered.
Please click here for more details of the scheme proposed. Surprisingly, a very rough estimate that has been made indicates that the outlay that the Government has to make, for administering such a scheme on an all India level, is as little as a few hundered crores.
Therefore, we, the undersigned, join hands to pressurise the government to develop a scheme, based on the model developed by the India Theatre Forum, and bring it into existence as soon as possible.