ISLAMABAD – Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training (FE&PT) Shafqat Mahmood on Monday inaugurated the folk festival of Pakistan, popularly known as Lok Mela here.
Minister for FE&PT Shafqat Mahmood was the chief guest on the occasion. Representatives of all the provinces, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan, Punjab Minister for Culture Khayal Ahmed Kastro, Parliamentary Secretary for National Heritage & Culture Ghazala Saifi, Federal Secretary for National Heritage & Culture Asif Haider Shah, Executive Director Lok Virsa Talha Ali Kushvaha were also present besides hundreds of master artisans, folk artists, and musicians from all parts of the country.
According to the tradition, Lok Mela opens with a Dastarbandi/ Chardarposhi of established master artisans and folk artists. ‘Dastarbandi’ is a symbol of Lok Virsa’s sustained campaign to keep the heritage of Pakistan alive and continuing.
This year, master artisans of pottery Niaz Ahmed, Fouzia Naheed, doll maker and renowned folk artist Bushra Sadiq were honoured.
In his address, Federal Minister Shafqat Mahmood welcomed all the participants of the mela, hailing from different parts of the country, and said that this institute is determined for the conservation, preservation and propagation of folk cultural heritage of Pakistan.
This festival is a part of government’s initiatives that encourages steps which are directly related for the betterment of people of Pakistan. The central focus of the festival is rural Pakistan.
The direct beneficiaries are master craftspeople, folk artists, rural musicians and other performers from each and every corner of the country. The festival serves to disseminate the dynamic creativity of our countryside and would give rural folk a pride in their identity. He thanked the Lok Virsa executive director and his team for holding such a beautiful event and assured cooperation of his ministry.
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