Correspondent

Delegation meets the Chief Minister at his residence

BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has assured the All-Odisha art and craft students' association ( Nikhil Utkal Charu O Karukala Chhatra Sangha) to reintroduce the post of art teachers in the State-run schools.

A delegation of the newly formed association - that is spearheading a state-wide agitation demanding employment opportunities for art graduates – met the Chief Minister recently at his residence to apprise him of the need for his intervention in the matter.

The association leaders – president Harihar Behera, vice-president Mousumi Mishra, secretary Satyaprakash Bal and treasurer Arun Kumar Pallur – told the Chief Minister that the state government has abolished the appointment of art teachers 24 years ago causing irreparable damage to art education.

They further said lack of employment opportunities had left hundreds of young artists graduating from various art and craft colleges of the State jobless.

“The CM was quite cordial and listened to us with patience. He also assured us that he would look into the matter and see to it that the grievances are settled soon”, said painter Mousumi Mishra who presented the CM a painting of Buddha on behalf of the association during the meeting.

Boost for artists

Panda, the journalist-turned-legislator who was instrumental in arranging the meeting of the delegation, said that the CM was aware of the plight of the aspiring and unemployed painters through extensive media coverage of the artists' demonstrations and demands being staged in the capital.

“He has already directed the government to find a way out to help the artists' community. The Departments of Culture, Education and Finance would have a tripartite meeting soon to find out the solution,” he said.