TINSUKIA, Jan 12 - In the lines of National School of Drama (NSD), Assam would also have a State School of Drama. Announcing this, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also assured that a plot of land in Guwahati would be allotted for the permanent office complex of the Asom Natya Sanmilan.
Speaking during the concluding day of the open session of the 55th central conference of the Asom Natya Sanmilan on Tuesday, the Chief Minister stated that artists were the wealth of the State and they must be well protected, especially as far as their financial status is concerned. He also declared that a life-size statue of Nata-Sainik, Braja Nath Sharma would be built at Sorbhog of Barpeta district and the State government would introduce an award in his name.
Recalling the great works of Srimanta Sankaradeva, Madhabdeva as well as that of Bishnu Prasad Rabha, Jyotiprasad Agarwala, Phani Sharma, Dr Bhupen Hazarika that reflected the natural beauty and social harmony of Assam, the Chief Minister appealed to cultural organisations like Asom Natya Sanmilan to take the initiative to bring people of different casts, creeds, tribes and communities of the State under the umbrella of culture. This would help the upcoming generation to be aware of the unique cultural heritage of the State.
Admiring the role played by organisations like Asom Natya Sanmilan in uniting the bond of friendship among various communities living in the State, the Chief Minister hoped that artists under the guidance of the Sanmilan would be able to form a peaceful and developed society in the State by giving importance to the cause of humanity.
On the occasion, he announced that the Artist Pension would be increased from Rs 4000 to Rs 8000 per month, one time ex-gratia would be raised from Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 and artist�s family pension would be raised from Rs 2000 to Rs 4000.
The open session presided over by president of the Sanmilan, Dulal Roy, was also addressed by Ranjit Dass, former Speaker, Assam Assembly.
While Arati Barua was conferred the Asom Natya Sanmilan Award for her life long dedication to the cause of drama, Rafikul Hussain was conferred the Braja Sharma award.
Dr Tripurari Sharma, professor, NSD (acting) was conferred the Dr Tarani Kt Rai Award by the Natya Sanmilan in the open session.
The open session was also attended by the MP Dibrugarh, Rameswer Teli, MLAs of Tinsukia, Sadiya, Margherita and Chabua, Sanjay Kishan, Bolin Chetia, Bhaskar Sharma and Binod Hazarika respectively. Rangamancha, a souvenir published to mark the occasion was released by Lurin Jyoti Gogoi, general secretary, All Assam Students� Union (AASU) in the open session.
The five-day conference of the State drama body that started on January 6 concluded on Tuesday with the staging of Rajnoti of late Prabhat Sharma and presented by Tinsukia branch of the Sanmilan and Ghasiram Kotowal, a Hindi play presented by the Repertory Group of National School of Drama, Delhi.