PESHAWAR: Starting in August, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government is set to start paying Rs30,000 per month as a stipend to talented artistes and singers of the province for a year, culture department officials said on Tuesday.
The K-P government had set aside a portion of the annual budget to pay the stipend and allow talented actors, singers, poets, painters to continue their work. The budget allocation was made as a way of compensating artists of the province who had suffered due militancy.
“The government is making efforts to revive cultural activities of the province and to support artists of the province in producing quality work,” said Ajmal Khan, the director of culture.
“This stipend will play a positive role in this regard,” he hoped.
Last year, the K-P government had provided similar stipends to 500 artists in the province. The beneficiaries were selected by a committee of senior artists, singers and writers from different parts of the province.
The K-P government decided to continue the project this year as well since a large number of artists approached the culture department for financial assistance.
Ajmal added currently their criteria for stipends does not require artists to be poor, rather it focuses on those who have produced quality work in their respective subjects.
Moreover, to provide these artists with avenues to showcase their talents, cultural complexes are being built in each division of the province. An art academy being built in Peshawar is expected to be completed soon.
He added that an endowment fund for the welfare of artists, writers and artisans will also be set up. Further, a permanent art gallery will also be set up in Nishtar Hall.
Besides the monthly stipends, the officials said that the directorate will hand out the “Aiteraf-e-Fan Award” under which best drama actor, writer and singer of the year will be award Rs0.03 million to encourage them to produce quality work.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2017.