ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s popular folk festival ‘Lok Mela’ came to an end on Sunday at Lok Virsa, Shakarparian with a prestigious and colourful award ceremony.
Punjab Information and Culture Minister Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan was the special guest on the occasion, while Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Federal Secretary Shafqat Jalil was the chief guest.
The recently concluded eight-day Lok Mela was a testimony to the fact that there is a wealth of talent in every nook and cranny of the country and artists continue to be neglected while their skill is looked down upon. It is through the Lok Mela that the country is reminded of these talented and diverse artists.
In his address, Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan congratulated Lok Virsa for the successful holding of the festival that brought rural masses from each corner of the country to the capital city. “The government is fully determined to strengthen the national institutions. We are aware that no nation can afford to make progress in industry, science and technology at the neglect and cost of its cultural awareness,” he said.
During the award ceremony, a number of cash awards were given to the most authentic craftsmen and craftswomen on the recommendation of a jury comprising of knowledgeable experts in the field of arts and culture.
Kashmiri artisans and artists who received cash awards were Ghulam Muhammad Siddique, Gul-e-Zehra and Banu Rehmat.
From Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), winning artisans and artists who received cash awards sponsored by Lok Virsa were Rehnuma Bibi and Nijat Bibi in Hunza embroidery, Deedar Ali in ‘pattu’ weaving, Sultana Iqbal, Abid Khan, Tanveer Ahmed and Sajeel Alam.
Artisans from Sindh who received cash awards include Qadir Buksh in blue pottery, Saran in spinning wheel, Nadeemuddin Soomro, Bisham Lal in shoemaking, Shaukat Marwari, Krishan Laal Bheel, Rasul Baksh, and Hussain Bakhsh.
From Balochistan, Umeedan, Mai Hazari, Hawwa, Ali Muhammad, Lal Bukhsh, Shahwali, Raza Shaida, Rehmatullah, Rasul Bakhsh, Liaquat Mansoor and Shahmeer Sabzal.
From Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (KP), Munaza Hayat, Muhammad Faheem, Rakhsana Bibi, Fazl-e-Wahid and Ajmal Khan were winners.
From Punjab, Muhmmad Javed, Zeeshan Rasheed, Allah Dita, Ibrahim Alam, Nazish Naveed, Shahida Bibi, Aurangzeb, Riaz Ahmed and Muskan Noshahi took prizes home.