The Sukkur Festival, which aims to highlight the importance of the third largest city of the province and celebrate Pakistan Day and Holi, is attracting a large numbers of residents, including women and children.
The festival began on Thursday at the right bank of River Indus at Lab-e-Mehran and will end on Saturday (today). The multipurpose event is the first of its kind to be held in the city.
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Various stalls of the Sindh information department, Sukkur Institute of Business Administration (IBA), various cellular companies, banks, hand-embroidery, toys, fast food, ice-cream, cold drinks, tea and coffee were set up for the festival. Colourful flowers were also exhibited by Sukkur IBA besides a musical show.
Expressing her joy over the festival, Farzana, one of the visitors, told The Express Tribune that the residents of Sukkur have been deprived of recreational activities. “My children are enjoying the festival very much,” she said. “I demand of the district administration to organise such events frequently.”
Aslam, who, along with his family, was at the festival, said in the wake of Sukkur having been badly neglected in development works, these events provide a wave of fresh air in such an environment of frustration. His wife said there are a very few opportunities of recreation, especially for women and children, and such events offer a good change.
“This is something badly needed by the residents of Sukkur,” said a student, Atta Mohammad. “Sukkur is blessed with River Indus and many historical monuments, but strong will is needed to utilise these places to attract the citizens.” He further demanded that the district administration should develop Lab-e-Mehran and offer more recreational facilities to the families.
Rejoicing in colours of Holi
Hindu Panchayat, Sukkur, president Mukhi Eshwar Lal Makheja was overjoyed by the fact that through the festival, it is for the first time in the history of Sukkur that the district administration had clubbed Pakistan Day and Holi together to forge harmony between the majority and minority.
He was of the view that such events should be organised more often to dispel misunderstandings between the different communities. “For us, Pakistan Day is not less important as compared to our religious festivals,” he said. “Therefore, the Hindu community is enjoying it with their Muslim brethren.”
Speaking on the occasion, Sukkur commissioner Muhammad Abbas Baloch said the festival is multi-pronged as it provides a platform to both the Muslim and Hindu communities to celebrate Pakistan Day and Holi at the same time. He added that another key aspect of the festival is to highlight the historical and geographical importance of Sukkur, which is the third largest city of Sindh. “Sukkur has many historical monuments and by portraying them in the right way, we could attract tourists, too,” he said. “Providing healthy and recreational opportunities to citizens is the duty of the district administration and, by organising the Sukkur Festival, we have taken a step ahead in fulfilling our duty.” He was optimistic that the participants will enjoy the event and make it a success.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2016.
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