A special programme to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day titled "Kashmiri Folk Crafts: Engagement with Artisans" is underway under the aegis of Lok Virsa, which is in collaboration with the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) and Directorate General for Special Education.
It is a part of the popular series of programmes titled “Craft of the Month” launched by Lok Virsa back in September 2015 under the slogan “Harnessing Culture with Education”.
The initiative underscores a particular craft every month with emphasis on the promotion of traditional crafts as well as providing an opportunity to the youth who have limited exposure to the vibrant cultural heritage of Pakistan.
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Furthermore, interaction with artisans as well as learning craft related techniques is emphasised under the initiative.
Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Pir Bukhsh Khan Jamali was the chief guest.
Jamali inaugurated the Kashmiri artisans at work which featured a number of Kashmiri indigenous crafts including papier mache, wood carving, embroidery, namda, gabba, and jewellery.
Jamali lauded the efforts of Lok Virsa to promote and project the Kashmir cause in an effective way.
He said, "The government of Pakistan employing every possible measure to resolve this issue to provide the people of Kashmir with the right of self-determination."
"We have initiated this training program for students and young children around folk crafts," said Lok Virsa Executive Director Fouzia Saeed.
Saeed added that have artisans and experts available for children, whereby engaging them to be creative.
"These craft-persons not only display their crafts but also teach children and have materials for them to experiment with the medium," she added.
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It will give them a hands-on opportunity to become familiar with the folk crafts, the Lok Virsa ED further added.
"This month's program is focusing on Kashmiri indigenous folk crafts coinciding with the Kashmir Solidarity Day with the objective to highlight the sacrifices of the Kashmiri people struggling for their right of self-determination from a cultural perspective."
50 children studying in educational institutes under the control of the FDE participated in the event as well.
The master artisans imparting training to children include Sheikh Muhammad Yousuf in Kashmiri embroidery, Mukhtar Ahmad Dar in Kashmiri namda and gabba, Irfan Ghulam Nabi in Kashmiri wood carving and Liaquat Ali in traditional jewellery making.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2017.
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