OMAS holds signature campaign for Sikkim Artists Protection & Guarantee Bill

Gangtok, 13 Jul: Organisation of Musicians and Artistes of Sikkim [OMAS] carried out a signature campaign here at MG Marg today seeking the introduction and passing of Sikkim Artists Protection & Guarantee Bill in the State Assembly. Musicians and artists of the State performed at the venue through the day, lending a musical and artistic ambience to the signature campaign which continued from 10 AM to 6 PM. OMAS plans to submit this petition to the State Government. Speaking to media persons, OMAS founding member, Tshering Wangchuk Lepcha, explained that OMAS organized the signature campaign in the interest of artists of Sikkim and their welfare, and timed it to coincide with the occasion of Bhanu Jayanti today. He said that OMAS has been working for the welfare of Sikkim’s artists since 2013 and stressed that the Sikkim Artists Protection & Guarantee Bill is very important for the protection of artists and their rights. He informed that OMAS will submit this petition enumerating 14 demands to the Chief Minister and other concerned Ministers of the State. The demands include: fixed income for Artists and Artisans of Sikkim, employment based on passion towards a progressive creative society, protection of traditional arts and culture of Sikkim, assured benefits and platform for entrepreneurs passionate about event management, exposure trips at national and international level, assured market economy for local artists where they can showcase their talent at national and global levels, ensuring a basic system of payment for Sikkimese artists working in productions shot in Sikkim, allocation of earmarked budget for artistes, provision of space or galleries for display of art and handicrafts by Sikkimese artists, amphitheatres for artists particularly in the field of Music, Fashion and Dance, relaxation of taxes in the entertainment field, setting up of a semi autonomous body for artist of Sikkim, encouraging and equipping film makers with the required technology and special discount for Manan Kendra for Sikkimese artists. Mr Lepcha mentioned that the passage of such a Bill will help solve the unemployment problem and create employment opportunities for others as well. He mentioned that artists of the State under the banner of OMAS have raised funds during calamities within and outside the State. “Now the artists of Sikkim are asking for their rights and we are very hopeful that the new government will take steps to secure and protect local artists,” he said. Likewise, another founding member, Sonam Gyaltsen Bhutia, appealed to everyone to support the OMAS initiative to help local artists and artisans. He urged the government to set up photography display, art gallery, amphitheatres and other required infrastructure for artists of the State.