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Baul Fakir Mela : Encourages Community Led Village Tourism

Roopkatha Gupta

banglanatak dot com (BNC), accredited with  UN ECOSOC status, advisory status to UNESCO global ICH committee and global partnership with UNWTO, has been working in rural Bengal to safeguard intangible cultural heritage and promote cultural diversity for inclusive and sustainable development since 2004-05 with their flagship initiative Art for Life (AFL),  which has been adopted by West Bengal Government through its partnership with UNESCO New Delhi since 2013, which has benefitted the rural artists fraternity immensely and contributed to SDGs.

Village Festivals are an integral part of banglanatak’s model, which promotes rural cultural tourism, encourages community led village tourism and has made these artists’ villages as new destinations, leading to socio-economic benefit and bringing pride to village, artists and art forms.

Post pandemic, very recently, everything opened and thus they also announced 2 back-to-back village festivals starting next weekend. Both festivals are open to all, free entry, but double vaccination needed for visitors  to enter mela premises.

On Nov 26-28, a Baul Fakiri mela will be hosted at Bannabagram Baul Ashram in Ausgram ( with  180 Baul Fakirs of all genres from most of Akhras across 6 districts in West Bengal including gurus & practitioners.

On Dec 3-5, they are holding  Ripples Festival in association with British Council India covering  East and West Bardhaman districts of West Bengal. The festival provides unique opportunities to tourists visiting the district of East Bardhaman covering Dariyapur and Bannabagram in Ausgram and connect to Baul singers, Kantha stitch artists, Wooden doll and Dokra crafts persons living in the region and learn about their artforms. The festival in West Bardhaman is a celebration through a series of theatres imbibing local folk traditions to be held at Tepantar Theatre village in the Satkahaniya village in Kanksa block near Panagarh.

The Ripples festival will also have 3 one-hour webinars on 3 days covering music, theatre and craft & sustainable tourism to reach out to larger audiences in UK and India. Through these well curated webinars, it brings together artists and experts from the UK to perform and share on best practices of their creative industry.
Ripples Festival Season 2 aims to promote cultural heritage and rural cultural tourism strengthening grassroots creative enterprises. The United Nations has declared 2021 as the Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development and highlighted the role of creative economy in building back more inclusive and peaceful societies. The first edition of Ripples Festival was conducted in January 2021 highlighting the culture of the Rarh region of Bengal covering Birbhum. Taking from the success of the first, December 3-5 will witness Season 2 hoping to attract visitors strengthening rural cultural tourism, strengthening innovations for resilience, the potential of collective pursuits, and sustaining art and artists in rural Bardhaman.
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One Comment

  • Great initiative 👏👏👏👏

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