In West Bengal, in India, is a small village -- Naya Pingla -- where everyone has the same surname -- Chitrakar -- meaning artist. They are singing artists known as Patuas, associated with an art form called Patachitra. Painting their stories on a long scroll, they sing as they slowly unfurl them. Their paintings and singing not only entertains but educates. Swarna Chitrakar is an award-winning artist who has visited more than 10 countries in her career. "My work is mainly about the social ills that afflict women, such as child marriage, human trafficking and other issues. Moumita Kundu, the coordinator of a social venture aiming to support development of the arts in West Bengal says, The eastern Indian group are the original Patuas, who traditionally sang the songs of Hindu mythology. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) government launched the Lokprasar Prakalpo Scheme to rehabilitate Bengal's folk art. Every artist between the ages of 18 and 60 is entitled to a 1,000 rupee (about $13) monthly retainer fee under the plan. Pre-pandemic, people from all over the world came to see their art. But the pandemic lockdown has had a big effect on Chitrakars. With little work, Memeraki, an online art workshop platform, enlisted Manorajan Chitrakar and other artists from Naya to help financially.

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