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Impact on the arts and culture sector in India

Pawan Kapoor CIOFF(R) India and Charu Castle Foundation (India)

The culture and arts sector has been one of the most affected by measures all over the world in this Covid 19 epidemic. The effects of Covid-19 are having a devastating impact on health services around the world. Beyond the immediate threat to life, livelihoods and the economy are also affected.

COVID-19 is also laying waste to the cultural schedule, forcing cancellations and suspensions of some of the biggest cultural events organized all across the nation, serving as a medium for education, promotion platform and transfusion of heritage from one to another – Artists to Audience and Guru to Learner (Teacher to Shishya).

Fairs and festivals are very important in culture to revive and understand culture closely. There have been delays and cancellations of major national and international festivals. Major concerts and festivals, such as the International Women Folk Dance festival organized every year in India by Charu Castle Foundation have been cancelled, affecting the movement of more than 2000 artists from across the nation.

Outside of India big festivals have been suspended. FOLKLORIADA was cancelled and postponed for next year, which was to bring together culture groups and artisans from more than 80 nations, the biggest in the history of CIOFF®.

Every year, many cultural groups from India travel to various nations as a cultural exchange, which promotes India’s rich culture on the world’s platform. This was a major setback, both morally and financially, as many groups had already booked their tickets, and had expenses relating to rehearsals and costumes.

Many activities held in India are celebrated annually, supporting livelihoods, boosting the economy, supporting the regional artists and its subsidiary alliances. Such festivals and fairs supports the promotion of culture, reflecting its importance for future generations.

Culture and tourism go hand in hand. A large number of tourists visit India’s major heritage sites, which have been closed in the lockdown.It is estimated that more than 30% of international tourists come to India to visit the cultural sites.

Large scale gatherings have been banned in all major states of India. Many people have chosen to self-isolate, or to avoid large scale gatherings. This has led to many events being cancelled or postponed. Many people working in the culture, arts and cinema rely on these events for a large proportion of their income or to supplement their freelance earnings.

Artists represent the real and original channel for the transmission of culture from one generation to another; their originality, live expression cannot be matched by ONLINE.

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