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Karnataka to spend ₹112 cr to preserve Banjara culture

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on September 17, 2018 Published on September 17, 2018

To accentuate the cultural diversity of Karnataka, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has launched a programme to revive 1,500 Sevalal Cultural Centres across the State.

The Sevalal Centres are vital to the Banjara way of life, and 45 per cent of them are in a dilapidated condition, according to a survey conducted by the Karnataka State Tanda Development Corporation.

Phased revival

The government plans to invest ₹112 crore in the project over the next three years. In 2018-19 alone, at least 400 centres will be revived at a cost of ₹23 crore. The 1,500 Sevalal Centres are located in different tandas across the State.

Kumaraswamy said, “Sevalal Maharaj is an important spiritual leader for the Banjara community and his contribution to the art, culture and welfare of the Banjara people is unmatched. The Karnataka government understands the importance that Sant Sevalal holds in the hearts and minds of the community, which is an integral part of Karnataka. We hope that the revival of these centres will help revitalise the art and culture of the State, and give a fillip to the rural economy as well.”

The State government will provide grants up to ₹10 lakh for construction of a Sevalal Centre building. The plan is to preserve, protect and develop the unique culture and arts, especially the dance, vajabhajans and other traditional rituals of the Banjara community, he added.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara said, “There are over 3,300 tandas in the State where the Banjara community has been living and practising their age-old cultural traditions under the spiritual guidance of Sevalal Maharaj. It is important that these traditions are not only preserved, but given the opportunity to thrive, in order to ensure that Karnataka continues its tradition of multiculturalism, tolerance and pluralism.”

Backwardness

Karnataka Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge said the Banjara community has been left out of the mainstream of society and has remained socially, economically and educationally backward.

“The Social Welfare Department as well as the State Tanda Development Corporation officials have been making special efforts for the development of the tribal community, and to preserve their unique cultural traditions, dress and arts such as community dancing -- particularly during festivals like Holi, Deepavali, Teej, Vaja, Bhajan, Homa and Havan, among others,” Kharge said.

Published on September 17, 2018
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