Rajasthan Launches Digital COVID Relief Concerts for Folk Artists

Arpan Foundation has stepped in to extend support to Rajasthan's folk artists through 'Padharo Mhare Des'
The pandemic has left many folk artists jobless with shows being cancelled
The pandemic has left many folk artists jobless with shows being cancelled
Rajasthan CM, Ashok Gehlot recently inaugurated - 'Padharo Mhare Des' Digital COVID Relief Concert Series to support out-of-work folk artists.
The series is Rajasthan-based singer Manesha A Agarwal's Arpan Foundation's initiative to support the state's folk artists.
Renowned artists participating in the concert series include Manesha Ram and the group Meghvals of Jaisalmer Dapu Khan Mirasi of 'Mumal' fame Bundu Khan and band, the Langas of Jodhpur Thanu Khan and Tarif Khan of Chala Mama Project Sugni Devi, the singing sensation of the Kalbeliyas from Jodhpur and Mehboob Khan Langa.

Speaking on the occasion, Gehlot said that the initiative would support the artist community who have been deprived of a regular livelihood for several months. Folk artists are solely dependent on their art for livelihood. This is a unique concept to support such folk artists during the coronavirus crisis. Such initiatives can play a crucial role in the growth of art forms in the state and promote virtual tourism.

Manesha Agarwal, Founder, Arpan Foundation said, "We are extremely grateful to the honorable CM Shri Ashok Gehlot-Ji for supporting this initiative. He has always given a boost to the state's art and culture and his support is very encouraging for the folk artists and us".
Padharo Mhare Des will feature 70 folk artists from the interiors of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Barmer.
"I was constantly concerned as an integral part of the state's cultural fabric, folk artists of Rajasthan including Langas, Manganiyars, Bhopas, Merasis, Sehariyas, Kalbelias among others, have been serevely hit during the pandemic. With tourism as well cultural performances during celebrations scaled down almost entirely, many of them face an unprecedented threat, both to livelihood as well as the survival of their musical legacy. Arpan Foundation with a team of entertainment and media professionals reached out to the remotest parts of Rajasthan and recorded performances of these folk artists from where they live," Agarwal added. 

The premiere episode of Padharo Mhare Des began with a Ganesh Vandana by Mahesha Ram and a group from Jaisalmer. As a guest performance, Padma Bhushan Grammy Awardee Pandit Vishwamohan Bhatt played a rendition of Padharo Mhare Des on his creation, the Mohan Veena.
This was followed by folk music performances and dance by the Langas and Kalbeliyas from Jodhpur and Manganiyars from Barmer.

Arpan Foundation has extended monetary support to each of the 70 folk artists who were recorded. The foundation says they will continue efforts to reach out to folk artists in remote parts of the state.

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