Kolkata: A 15-day workshop titled ‘Folk and Tribal Performing Arts of Mech Community of North Bengal’, organised by the West BengalState Akademi of Dance Drama Music and Visual Arts, Rabindra Bharati University, in association with the Sangeet Natak Akademi was inaugurated at the Jorasanko Thakurbari on Monday. Vice-chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University, Prof. Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury, who is the chairman of the Akademi, inaugurated the workshop which will continue till February 18. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose” The objective of the workshop is to promote the rich and rare traditional folk and tribal performing art forms of the Mech community of northern Bengal, which is facing extinction threats as their population is not large. “This community mostly comprises inhabitants of Kumargram in Alipurduar districts,” said Haimanti Chattopadhyay, member secretary of West Bengal State Akademi of Dance Drama Music and Visual Arts. A few people of this community practice these art forms but, many youngsters are not even aware of their rich tribal culture. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”The workshop forms a part of our project aimed at research and documentation on the subjects of the surveys and this workshop. “There are 40 participants in the workshop, including university students, and those associated with staging dramas,” Chattopadhyay said. The workshop is being conducted by Mech gurus — Raja Singh Thakur, Kali Kumar Narjinari and Rajib Thakur, who will be assisted by Kiran Thakur, Krish Narjinari, Anil Thakur, Rojen Narjinari, Hironbala Thakur Narjinari and Sujit Thakur.