ISLAMABAD: A group of 50 students belonging to the marginalized communities of Sindh, Balochistan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) visited Lok Virsa here Saturday to get cultural education.
The visitors were the students of classes of 6th, 7th and 8th and their visit to the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage was coordinated by the Children’s Global Network (CGN), a non-governmental organization working in different parts of
Pakistan, especially remote areas of the four provinces by providing basic education to children and training to the teachers.
On arrival, a briefing was conducted for the children apprising them about the cultural heritage of the country with special focus on the objectives of Lok Virsa.
Speaking on the occasion, Lok Virsa’s Executive Director Khalid Javaid said, Lok Virsa is presently taking all practical steps in consultation with educational institutions to harness culture among the younger generation, in particular students in order to inculcate awareness in them about the indigenous folklore, oral traditions, local craft and cultural heritage.
In this regard, the Heritage Museum is being converted into a cultural university for promoting Pakistan’s magnificent heritage.
The Chief of Lok Virsa said the children need exposure to the world outside their immediate and local environs. Lack of opportunities and remoteness prevents children from stepping out of their local environs and see the world around, watch a live
performance of music, meet artists or witness traditional craftsmen/women at work, know the different people of their own land.
This is a serious gap and a harmful disconnect from social and cultural reality that can result in raising adults who may not possess a true relationship with their society and have any realistic appreciation of its values, he added.
‘Lok Virsa is therefore making every possible effort to ensure documentation, preservation and promotion of cultural heritage at gross root level through various initiatives,’ he maintained.
Later the children were taken to the beautiful cultural displays supported by audio-visual presentation at the Pakistan National Museum of Ethnology, popularly known as Heritage Museum, depicting living cultural traditions and lifestyles of the people of Pakistan in a three-dimensional way.
The children took keen interest in the rare artifacts and other ethnological collections at the museum mainly the ‘hall of antiquity and continuity’ displaying living elements of various civilizations flourished from Pakistan including Mehargarh, Moenjodaro, Gandhara and Harrappa; ‘hall of musical heritage’ showing contributions of Muslims towards promoting musical heritage; ‘snake charmers (joggis)’ sitting in a typical traditional Sindhi hut; and the ‘hall of ballads and romances’.
The children were also taken to the heritage library of Lok Virsa housing numerous manuscripts, original reports, field surveys and research monographs on Pakistani culture.
Exchanging their views with Lok Virsa officials, representatives of CGN highly appreciated the national services of Lok Virsa in the promotion of Pakistan’s tangible and intangible heritage.Daily Times.