Islamabad, April 10, 2016 (PPI-OT): Folk Festival of Pakistan, popularly known as Lok Mela, which started on 1st April successfully concluded here at Shakarparian with a prestigious and colourful award ceremony. Barrister Abid Waheed Sheikh, Managing Director, Pakistan Bait ul Mal was the chief guest on the occasion.
In his address, Barrister Abid Waheed Sheikh congratulated Lok Virsa for holding this huge festival that brought rural masses from each corner of the country to the capital city enriching its beauty and attraction. He said “No nation can afford to progress in industry, science and technology at the utter neglect and cost of its cultural awareness. Lok Virsa is doing a great service to the nation by documenting, preserving and disseminating the rich cultural heritage of Pakistan”. In my view, culture is the path that leads to the provincial solidarity, religious harmony, love, peace and brotherhood among the nation, he added.
Earlier in her speech, Lok Virsa’s executive director Dr. Fouzia Saeed thanked all provincial governments, in particular their cultural departments, art councils, craftspeople, folk artists, musicians, sponsoring agencies and other institutions for their unstinted cooperation to Lok Virsa for making this national event a great success.
During the award ceremony, a number of cash awards sponsored by different national organizations and individuals were given to the master craftsmen and craftswomen on the recommendations of a jury national constituted by Lok Virsa comprising knowledgeable experts in the field of art and culture. Jury held detailed meetings over the last three days and minutely observed working of each artisan so as to arrive on a just and fair decision.
The 10-day festival pulled a big crowd throughout and featured artisans-at-work exhibition, provincial cultural pavilions, folkloric song and dance performances, cultural evenings, craft bazaar, theatre performances and many other attractions.
All the four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir have fully participated in the festival by way of presenting their beautiful indigenous culture, arts, crafts, music and cuisine in specially designed pavilions symbolizing their respective historical monuments, contributing art, music and entertainment activities. Sixty two awards were awarded to the winning master artisans and folk artists from all over Pakistan in full view of the national media. Chief Guest gave away these awards.
The institutions that sponsored awards for artisans and artists included Pakistan Bait ul Mal rupees five lakhs, Punjab Council of the Arts, Lahore rupees one lakh, Kashmir Council, Islamabad Rs. 50,000/-, Directorate of Culture, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Rs. 40,000/-, Potohar Organization for Development Advocacy (PODA) Rs. 15,000, Ms. Baela Raza Jamil of Children Literature Festival Rs. 25,000, UNESCO Islamabad Rs.15,000 for “Raza Kazim Music Award” and Custodian Welfare Society, Rawalpindi Rs. 10,000. Total awards of Rs. 7,60,000/- were distributed during the ceremony.
The artisans from all provinces, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kahsmir who received awards were Siyani Khatoon in Sindhi lungi, Gul Khatoon in rilli work, Saran in Charkha weaving, Haleema in durree weaving, Purri in Farasi weaving, Faqueer Muhammad in pottery, Farhat Bibi in lacquer work, Ismail in handloom, Tasleem Bibi in Hazara phulkari, Aurangzeb Khan in stone work, Sultanat Khan in wood carving, Khawaja Safar Ali in metal work, Bashir Ahmad in Karakulli cap, Riaz Ahmad in wax printing, Daryan Khan in saroz making, Miral Khan in leather embroidery, Rozi Khan in Balochi chappal making, Malookan in Balochi embroidery, Malik Abdul Rehman in camel skin Naqqashi, Abdur Rashid in bone work, Manzoor Malang in Ghuggo Ghorey, Muhammad Ramzan in khussa making, Riaz Ahmad and Muhammad Hanif in lacquer work, Habib ur Rehman in truck art, Muhammad Shabbir in blue pottery, Akbar Chughtai in block printing, Hajra Bibi and Kaneez Fatima in basketry, Fouzia Naheed in doll making, Shahida Bibi in gota kinar, Sadaf Nisar in Moti kari, Surraya Abdullah in chunri (tie dye), Deeba Rana in papier mache, Taj Muhammad in Namda making, Gule Zehra and Nisar Ali in Kashmiri embroidery, Munir Ahmad in Gabba making, Khursheed Numa in GB namda, Karimuddin in sharma weaving and Muhammad Afzal in wood work.
The award winning folk artists, musicians and dancers included Zainullah in sitar playing, Tariq Khan in Rubab playing and Khairal Amin in folk singing from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Abdul Wahid Talik in dholak playing, Muhammad Shakir (blind) in saroz playing, Faiz Muhammad in surnai playing and Shakeel Ahmad in firework from Balochistan, Muhammad Bashir in folk puppetry, Shaukat Ali in dhol playing, Muskan Ali (child) in folk singing, Muhammad Akhtar in folk singing and Aashir Niazi in folk singing from Punjab, Shaukat in Marwari singing, Arbab Khan in Alghoza playing, Bhagwanti folk dancer (Thar) and Jay Ram Jogi in murli playing from Sindh, Ikram Khan in surnai playing, Fida Hussain in Dadong (dhol) playing and Abdul Majeed in sword dance from Gilgit-Baltistan.
Grand prize, i.e. Raza Kazim Music Award of Rs. 25,000/- was granted to child singer Zawwar Hussain in Marwari folk singing from Sindh. Exotic cultural and musical performances were also presented during the ceremony, which were greatly enjoyed by the audience. A large number of art, craft and music lovers, cultural personalities, media persons and general public attended the event.
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