New Delhi, Dec 21 (PTI) A parliamentary panel has said the culture ministry’s pension scheme was not reaching old artistes living in penury and recommended that the ministry should run targeted campaigns to ensure the scheme reaches its intended beneficiaries.

The committee on ‘Fellowships, Scholarships, Grants, Pensions and Schemes administered by the Ministry of Culture’ which submitted its report in Parliament on Friday has stated that the dismal living conditions of a famous musician was brought to their attention and it felt that the case was not an isolated one.

“The Committee recommends that targeted campaigns should be run to reach old artistes since the Pension Scheme of the Ministry can provide them the dignified life that they deserve. The Committee feels that this is not an isolated case since such news keep appearing in the media from time-to-time.

“This points to the poor living conditions faced by a vast section of the artistes community in our country once they reach old age and to the fact that the Ministry’s Pension Scheme is not reaching the intended recipients,” it said.

Committee also recommended the ministry should be proactive and suo motu extend its Artistes Pension Scheme whenever a case comes to light, “where an artist with significant contribution to our cultural heritage is found to be living in penury.” “The reasons for which such deserving artistes got left out in the first place should be looked into by the ministry and the Artistes Pension Scheme should be updated accordingly to ensure a dignified life to all deserving artistes. If need be, the ministry should allocate more funds to this scheme since financial assistance is direly needed by artistes in the later stage of their life,” the panel said.

The culture ministry gives pension to artistes above 60 years for which they have to apply to the ministry.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.