To revive, foster & reutilize the traditional Bengal folk drama (Jatra) by setting up multiple cultural centres with employment opportunity.

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  • Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.

Initiative's representative name

Amitava Chakraborty

Initiative's representative date of birth

9th August , 1969

Initiative’s representative gender

  • Man

Which eligible market are you based in?

  • India

Where are you making a difference?

Both in rural villages & cities of Hooghly district in the state of West Bengal , India .

Website or social media url(s)

The Facebook page link of organization : https://www.facebook.com/dronacharyapanna/ Facebook account : https://www.facebook.com/mayakantho.ngo.3

When was your organisation founded?

My organization "Mayakantho" was founded by my late legendary father (a versatile folk drama actor & director with national fame) in April / 1999 . My father dreamt of setting up multiple drama schools in rural India where the invaluable decaying / dying cultural arts of Bengal will be preserved, practised & reutilized to create innumerable job opportunities. After my father's demise I took the overall charge of this organization & got registered as a non profitable trust in January / 2018 .

Focus areas

  • Helping people adapt to technologies of the future
  • Financial skills and capability
  • Reskilling and upskilling the workforce

Project Stage

  • Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan for the future)

Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?

  • $250k - $500k

Organisation Type

  • Non-profit / NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed

My father was a legendary actor & director in folk drama (Jatra) with national recognition. I also worked as a regular folk drama actor with my knowledgeable father, was rewarded by different cultural organizations & learnt invaluable lessons of acting, direction from him. My father established the organization MAYAKANTHO in 1999 for he dreamt of setting up multiple drama schools in rural India where the invaluable decaying/dying cultural arts of Bengal will be preserved, practiced & reutilized to create innumerable job opportunities among villagers. Following the established path & legacy of my father I took all responsibilities of our organization & now working to promote folk drama & other related cultural subjects with my team .

2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?

In 60 - 80's decade Folk drama was a $21m-a-year industry, performed on nearly 4,000 stages in West Bengal alone, over 300 companies employed over 20,000 people. But due to rapid globalization & modernity, the invaluable traditional art & cultural subjects of Bengal like folk drama, folk dance, handloom, handicrafts, folk painting, etc. which provided million employment opportunities once are on the verge of extinction today.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

My organization will recognize the need to nurture the next generation of folk drama (Jatra) with other associated art subjects professionals who can contribute to the development, vibrancy & evolution of Bengal’s art & cultural sector (also national arena in greater sense). To implement this innovation my organization will set up multiple cultural centres with respective drama groups at different villages where the trainees will learn how to develop their self-empowerment, employability, gender equality & universalize their indigenous subjects / items. My innovation will revive, preserve & reutilize decaying / dying indigenous cultural folk arts of Bengal JATRA (traditional folk drama) along with associated art subjects & create innumerable job opportunities among native villagers. The learners will be entitled to get a remuneration based on the revenues collected from each drama show beside their monthly stipend. This same concept will be continued with the establishment of multiple cultural centres / drama groups every year. They will learn how to get benefit from art education in a culturally sensitive manner that draws upon, utilizes & promotes their cultural traditions.

4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?

In spite of having required talent & potentiality most of the rural students in India either are left out of school or deprived of useful quality education, proper training & guidance to set up a bright future. According to the ministry of human resource development, Govt. of India, 62.1 million children are out of school in India —nearly 20% of the age group covered under the Right to Education Act. The prominent problems like unemployment, aimlessness & insecurity in life engulf a major parts of India. My innovation brings together a viable solution of rural unemployment with revitalizing our invaluable native art & culture. The entire family of the participants & the society will be benefited at the same time from my idea .

(Instructions for questions 5 and 6, no answer required) Please only answer the question (5 - “employability” or 6 - “financial capability”) that applies to your organization’s topic of work (see below for definitions)


5. Employability: how is your organization or project teaching people to develop the skills that they need to survive in the future job market?

Education builds the man, so it builds the nation. Education & socialisation are at the heart of human society, because these processes allow for the cultural, economic & social reproduction of any given society despite the passing of generations. Since time immemorial, education has always played a significant role to foster & promote indigenous culture, language & practices of native art subjects. From my project, each & every students is getting the scope to acquire knowledge, skills, values & attitudes from their learning that empower them to contribute to a sustainable future & overall socio-economic development. My organization is utilizing the growing recognition & use of indigenous cultural education methods as a response to the erosion & loss of indigenous knowledge through the processes of rapid globalization & modernity beside students' employment opportunity in future .

5a. Please describe which future-oriented skills your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress

My organization focuses on fostering the following future oriented skills for the students, employees & entire communities - 1. Revive, foster & reutilize native art & culture. 2. Recognition of the individual. 3. Variety of experiences, skills, attitudes, concepts & knowledge to fully develop each learner’s potentiality. 4. Transition to professional life. 5. Balance, continuity & progression. My plan to measure progress : 1. Retention rates with progression. 2. Graduation / promotion rates. 3. Time to completion. 4. Participants' persistence through stage performance.

7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Few surviving folk drama groups are aimlessly producing dramas either by ridiculous remaking of contemporary entertaining movies or engaging glamorous film actors / actresses with a huge budget who are virtually alien to this media and resulting in loss. Whereas my production consists of native story , artists, tradition & with related technical support. Considering the taste & trend of present generations few updated technical / digital effects are introduced without compromising it's core tradition & it's attracting audience at a large scale. This is the uniqueness of my approach.

8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

My team basically consists of veteran folk artists, educationists & business professionals. As a veteran administrator, educationist & folk drama artist, I'm successfully producing folk dramas with my team for long years. A drama gets the recognition of box office hit & the demand of repeat shows arises when there's a good story, relevant composition, integrated acting & newness in presentation. The dramas produced by my organization fulfil all these features. Apart from director, producer & promoter my team usually consists of 25 to 30 participants ( actors, musicians & other staff ) based on the story. They're the direct beneficiaries whereas their family members, volunteers & other philanthropic associates are indirect beneficiaries. With the expansion of organizational infrastructure & increase in number of folk drama teams the number of beneficiaries will be thousands in future.

9. Financial Sustainability Plan. Can you tell us about you plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

Let's set the time duration of my project is for1 year : Number of folk drama groups to operate : 4 . Number of drama per group : 1 for every 3 month’s phase . Expected ticket selling from each drama show : $800 - $1000 . Production cost of each drama : $500 - $550 . Profit : $300 - $500 from each drama show . Each drama group will have the opportunity of performance of minimum 4 shows in a year with 4 different dramas . Therefore , total number of shows and revenue collection from them would be $300 / 500 × 16 = $4800 - $8000 p.a . All participants will get a certain remuneration from collected revenues besides their monthly stipend. Apart from that we get donation, interest from deposits which will help us for sustainability .

10. Team

MY CORE TEAM : Prof. Sculptor Deepankar Dutta - H.O.D, Indian college of Art & draftsmanship, Kolkata. Fellowship from Govt. of India“, Hon'ble diploma from London & World medal from ABI, USA. Mr. Prabhat Kumar Das – Renowned researcher of folk drama (Jatra) associated with Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. Mrs. Bijoya Mukherjee - Talented scholar in folk dance & choreography. Asst. Directors, team managers & other staff will be working under the supervision of Principal investigator.

Help Us Support Diversity! Are you a member of an under-served , under-represented, or marginalized group in your country of residence? (yes/no) (this question is optional – if you choose to fill it out, the response will not be shared with your fellow contestants)

  • Gender
  • Socioeconomic class

If you selected “yes” to any of the categories above, please explain how being a member of this group has impacted you and your work?

A major part of the students in rural India put a full stop to their educational life at an early age and aimlessly migrate to cities or stray at their native villages for an uncertain, mere earning of livelihood. Also, traditional gender norms push girls into helping with household chores, early marriage & sibling care. The prominent problems like unemployment, aimlessness & insecurity in life engulf a major parts of India. Their plight has meved me a lot as a member of this group.

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Search engine

Attachments (1)

cultural arts.pdf

Bengalis have long fostered art , literature , music and drama . The visual arts have , by tradition , been based mainly on clay modelling , terra-cotta work , and decorative painting . The theatre is popular, and performances—amateur as well as professional—are sophisticated . Yatras (jatras) , traditional open-air performances that may treat mythological and historical topics or contemporary themes , are popular both in the countryside and in urban areas .


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