The week-long Lok Mela concluded on Sunday with western musical night and an award ceremony at the Lok Virsa Open Air Theatre.
The artisans from across the country were awarded cash prizes, while shields were also given to the representatives of all the provincial cultural departments. Lok Virsa Executive Director Talha Ali Khan and Focal Person Director Museum Anwarul Haq distributed the awards.
The artisans receiving cash awards included Abdul Rehman for Camel Skin Work, Amir Bakhsh for Block Printing, Muhammad Ramzan for Khussa making and Niaz Ahmed for Pottery.
Additionally, doll maker Fauzia Naheed, Suraiya Abdullah for Tie & Dye, Kaniz Fatima for basket making, and Sadaf Nisar for pearl work were given awards by Potohar Organisation for Development Advocacy (PODA).
Among the artisans from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Mohammad Rustam, stone carving, Mohammad Kashif for Chappal making, Syed Ahmad Shah Abdali for woodwork and Naseem Akhtar for Jasti work were also given awards by the organisation. Rubab player Zafar Ali and Abdal Majeed also recieved awards.
Among the artisans of Balochistan province, Fatima Mengal for Balochi Embroidery (Kalat), Balochi Chappal Maker Rozi Khan, Shahida Afzal for Balochi Kasheeda Kari and Hasna Bibi for Balochi Embroidery were awarded by Poda.
Among the folk artists of Balochistan, Muhammad Ali Brohi, Dambhura player Shahan, Dholak Player Shah Wali, Atan Folk Dance Group and Ghulam Muhammad Saraibi Chop Dance Group were awarded by Lok Virsa.
Among the artisans from Sindh province, Baradi Waghio for Laker Work, Khan Chand for Leather Work, Sindhi topi maker Krishan Kumar and Shahid Ali Hussain for Khes Banai received awards from Lok Virsa.
Among the Sindhi artists, Folk Singer Farah Lashari, Dholak Player Ghulam Abbas, Banjo Player Ghulam Arshad, Folk Dancer Aga Khan Chapri and Mitka Dance Group Sain Dad were awarded by Lok Virsa.
Similarly, Miss Siddiqua for Pattu Weaving and Miss Shehzadi for Embroidery received the award from Poda and among the folk artists, Damal Player Abid Khan, Sarnai Player Jamil Karim and Dadding Player Shahbaz Khan received awards from the Lok Virsa.
Among the artisans of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Gabba Maker Qazi Razzaq, Sheikh Muhammad Yousuf for Embroidery and folk singer Ashiq Butt received awards from Lok Virsa.
During the award ceremony, the renowned Shaukat Dholi group from Hafizabad gave their performance and Javed Niazi, Babar Niazi and Hasnain Abbas also performed folk songs.
The mela has been ongoing for several days, and every province’s culture was individually showcased in separate pavilions. The festival’s primary purpose is to promote Pakistan’s folk culture and arts, and to encourage those associated with them.
Apart from ordinary citizens, several local and foreign political and government officials also visited the festival. The event provided the perfect opportunity to showcase Pakistan’s indigenous cultures to foreign dignitaries living in the federal capital.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 8th, 2021.
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