ISLAMABAD: The Lok Virsa has taken the lead to involve the masses in exploring the soft expressions of art as well as promote cultural values among the young generation by organizing a number of important and colorful cultural activities in the preceding year 2014.
Talking to APP, Executive Director, Lok Virsa Shahera Shahid informed that the institute has made landmark achievements in the field of culture at home and abroad.
The establishment of two National Museums by Lok Virsa, popularly known as Heritage Museum ( Pakistan National Museum of Ethnology) depicting living cultural traditions and lifestyles of the people of Pakistan and another museum, “Pakistan Monument Museum” portrays freedom struggle, birth, history and development of Pakistan as a progressive state.
Both these Museums are catering to around fifty thousand visitors a month including VIP delegates, dignitaries, State Guests, researchers, students and general public, she told.
While giving the details, she said that the major programmes that Lok Virsa organized during the last year including Kashmir Cultural Festival marking Kashmir Solidarity Day in collaboration with Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Division, Annual Folk Festival of Pakistan “Lok Mela” with larger participation of all provinces, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, IDPs Relief Mela to generate funds for the Internally Displaced Persons of the on-going operation against terrorism, creation of Cultural Pavilions at National Defence University depicting culture and traditions of all federating units, special programmes for the participants of the Conference of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), celebration of International Mountain Day in collaboration with Capital Development Authority and Alpine Club, an Artisans-at-work exhibition during Spring Festival (Jashan-e-Baharan) held in Narowal, a special Exhibition of Cultural Heritage marking visit of the President of Pakistan to Lok Virsa, special programmes coinciding Rural Women Day, cultural shows with different folk artists, musicians and performers, etc., she added.
She said Lok Virsa also provided a platform to the Foreign Missions in Pakistan for holding of their activities/programs. In this connection, a Chinese Cuisine Carnival and lectures by renowned Turkish and American Experts were organized in collaboration with Chinese, Turkish and US Embassies.
Besides these activities, in pursuance of a decision taken by the Government of Pakistan/Cabinet Sub Committee, Lok Virsa fabricated floats on Azad Train presenting the indigenous folk culture and craft heritage of Azad Kashmir/Gilgit Baltistan, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa/FATA, Sindh and Punjab. The train was launched by Pakistan Railways marking the Independence Day Celebrations. The floats disseminated the dynamic creativity of our countrymen and afforded them an exclusive opportunity to display their unique skills while traveling all over Pakistan, she stated.
She informed that the major responsibility assigned to Lok Virsa under its mandate is research, collection, documentation, preservation and dissemination of Pakistan?s traditional culture. It includes both tangible and intangible heritage. In this regard, a museum-related research field work of Gilgit Baltistan (GB) was carried out in June 2014.
The team covered five districts of GB including Gilgit, Hunza Nagar, Skardu, Ghaunche and Ghizer and authenticated existing craftspeople registered with Lok Virsa, identified, registered and documented 65 new master artisans in different craft fields, collected ethnological/craft items for display at Heritage Museum, identified, registered and documented new folk artists and musicians through on location interviews and video documentation and held interactive meetings/consultations with various governmental and non-governmental organizations in GB, she added.
ED Lok Virsa further said, these efforts have not only facilitated Lok Virsa to play its meaningful role as a national cultural organization but also served significantly to promote, protect and project the rich culture of Pakistan at national and international level in an effective manner. These activities have also created opportunities for the traditional practitioners of Pakistan including master artisans, folk artists and musicians to demonstrate their skills and win recognition of their talent at national level.
These steps have also paved way towards eradication of poverty and economic empowerment of the poor rural community of the artisans and folk artists, she maintained.