Imphal: Chief Minister N. Biren Singh has said his government will seriously consider providing an annual grant of around Rs. 20 to 30 lakhs to the Manipur State Shumang Leela Council (MSSLC) for the welfare of Shumang Leela artistes.
He made the announcement while speaking as chief guest at the opening function of the 18th Shumang Leela Ningtham Kumhei, 2021-22 organised by MSSLC in commemoration of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav at Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen Friday.
The Chief Minister further stated that the land where Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen complex stands today would be exclusively reserved only for Shumang Leela. He said that the proposal for renovation of Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen would also be looked into by the Government.
N. Biren Singh pointed out that artistes in the State usually have no financial or emotional support after they retire from their respective professions, and they were one of the most affected groups of the society during COVID-19 pandemic economically. That is why, the Chief Minister added, the State Government introduced Chief Minister-gi Artiste Singgi Tengbang with the sole objective to extend the much-needed help to artistes.
Stating that there are many flaws in the system today, the Chief Minister opined that it should be rectified bit by bit.
He further said that it would be a loss of the society if the movement of Shumang Leela is weakened, because it is through this rare art form that people are educated on social evils, civic sense, history of Manipur, origin of its people, etc.
Observing that everybody should join hands to promote Shumang Leela, N. Biren Singh urged the Shumang Leela groups to produce plays which depict the courage of those brave forefathers, who had sacrificed their life to build up the present Manipur. No youth would go to the wrong path if they have a sense of patriotism and nationalism in their minds, he observed.
CAF and PD Minister L. Sushindro Meitei also attended the function as dignitary. Education (S) Director L. Nandakumar, DIPR Director H. Balkrishna and Art and Culture Director Ng. Uttam were feted at the function for their support and co-operations to Manipur State Shumang Leela Council.
Eleven Shumang Leela groups are taking part in the festival which will conclude on May 30.