People take part in a signature campaign for and by artists in Gangtok, Sikkim on Monday Credit: EastMojo image

Gangtok: The Organisation of Musicians and Artists of Sikkim (OMAS) on Monday conducted a signature petition on MG Marg in Gangtok for the introduction and passing of the Sikkim Artists’ Protection and Guarantee Act (SAPGA).

Despite the bad weather and heavy rainfall, people from all walks of life supported the campaign being run the Sikkim-based NGO. Local artists and musicians performed during the event to show their support to the cause.

SAPGA is designed to empower, protect and sharpen Sikkimese artistes engaged in creative fields spanning across different sectors.

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OMAS founding member Sonam Gyaltsen Bhutia talked about how a semi-autonomous body in the state could benefit the artistes. He said that art galleries, ampitheatres can be a motivation; also, a bazaar /complex to sell and showcase artworks would be a boon for the community. Further, he highlighted how the filmmakers are lacking the latest technology as they are expensive. Strict procedures deter them from organising programmes. The Bill will address such crucial issues, Bhutia added.

When asked about the benefits of the act to the “aspiring artistes”, another OMAS founding member Rinchen D Bhutia said that the Act is expected to provide a mode of income to the passionate artistes making it less insecure. “It further protects the tradition and culture of Sikkim and provides a platform to all the aspiring artists, event managers and band managers. Many other benefits can be obtained by the art community through the Act,” Bhutia added.

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