Ground breaking of national museum likely by end of this year: Irfan Siddiqui

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ISLAMABAD, Jan 14 (APP): Advisor to Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage (NHLH), Irfan Siddiqui Wednesday said the ground breaking of the first ever state-of-the-art national level museum will be held by the end of this year.
“The redesigning work of the museum is in progress after land acquisition of 3.24 acres and its construction work would hopefully be started next year”, Irfan Siddiqui said while talking to APP.
The national museum would house the rare artifacts which were ruining due to absence of proper museum facility and also add colour and beauty to the federal capital.
He said National History and Literary Heritage Division is diligently working for the welfare of writers, poets and literary personalities for which the division meant for.
He said Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has recently announced an Endowment Fund of Rs. 500 million (50 Crore) at the International Conference of Writers and Scholars held recently, for the welfare of writers community.
Listing other decisions announced during the conference, he said, the amount of monthly stipend given to deserving writers and poets will be increased from Rs. 5000 up to Rs. 13,000
The number of deserving beneficiaries (literary personalities) would be increased from 500 upto 1000 while the number of beneficiaries of life insurance scheme will be raised from 354 upto 700.
The amount given to family of writer or poet in case of natural death will be increased from Rs. 1, 00,000 up to 2, 00,000 and accidental death from Rs. 2,00,000 up to Rs.4,00,000, he said.
The other decisions include increasing the number of annual awards for literary persons from 11 up to 20 and establishing ‘Intezar Hussain Award’ worth Rs. 10,00,000 for literary persons.
Irfan Siddiqui said a special committee would also be formed to devise recommendations for welfare of artists of different genres in line with the PM’s directives which will present its recommendations within a month.
He said Prime Minister has urged the writers and poets to initiate ‘Zarb-i-Qalm’ to discourage extremism and intolerance in the society and the year 2017 will now be marked as the ‘Year of Zarb-i-Qalm’.
Mentioning another unique scheme, Irfan Siddiqui said the division is planning to form a committee for assisting the writers, poets and other literary persons for publication of their books.
This initiative would help publish the books of those writers and poets who cannot afford to get their creative work published, he said.
Irfan Siddiqui said Literature can help counter the extremist behaviours and intolerance among the people and bring positive reforms in the society.
“People belonging to different fields of life behave in sophisticated way of they are in habit of reading any form of literature”, he said.
The society which losses its interaction with literature ultimately lack patience and tolerance, he observed.
He said National History and Literary Heritage Division would soon launch to ensure accessibility of books to the people at affordable rates.This initiative would help promote book reading culture among the people, he added.