Lok Virsa’s 10-day
APP56-06 ISLAMABAD: November 06 – Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Mr. Shafqat Mahmood addresses the opening ceremony of Folk Festival of Pakistan “LOK MELA” at Lok Virsa Shakarparian. APP photo by Irfan Mahmood

ISLAMABAD, Nov 06 (APP): Minister for Federal Education, Professional Training, National Heritage and Culture Shafaqat Mahmood on Friday inaugurated the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage’s (Lok Virsa) 10-day folk festival.

Addressing the ceremony, he said that the government is committed to promote art and culture of the country and such events are necessary for promotion of traditional heritage.

He said that the objective of the festival was to reinforce and strengthen national integration by promoting the cultural heritage of Pakistan through active participation of all provinces, Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

He said that this unique event has now become a symbol of the federation’s recognition and patronage to our rich cultural diversity and active participation of the people.

He said that festival also provides a much needed economic opportunity to hundreds of poor and under privileged craftspeople from all over country to sell their products over a period of one year to public directly.

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He said that the government was striving hard to keep its culture and heritage alive. He thanked all provincial departments for cooperating in Lok Mela and appreciated the efforts of ED Lok Virsa Talha Ali Khan for arranging a mega cultural event.

Executive Director Lok Virsa Talha Ali Khan said that the aim to arrange Lok Mela every year was to bring festivity, culture and colour of Pakistan, artisans and folk artists from all parts of the country who participate by bringing with them their creativity in arts, crafts and innovation.

He said that Prime Minister’s tiger force has been engaged for observance of SOPs particularly face masks and  Four sanitizing gates at entrance points have also been installed.

He said that the central focus of Lok Mela is rural Pakistan and the direct beneficiaries are artisans, folk artists, folk musicians and other performers from the rural areas and remote regions.

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He said that the mela also places special emphasis on creating provincial harmony and national integration and around 500 artisans and folk artists from all parts of the country.

He said that the Lok Virsa has committed to undertake measures for the welfare and development of artists.

He said that the Mela also places special emphasis on creating provincial harmony and national integration as around 500 artisans and folk artists from all parts of the country will attend Lok Mela by bringing with them their creativity in arts, crafts and innovation.

The main feature of Lok Mela ”Dastarbandi or Chadarposhi” was also held to proclaim Lok Virsa’s commitment to the high stature that craftspeople and folk artists have in the cultural mainstream of the nation.