The five-day National Women’s Festival, jointly organised by Lok Virsa, commonly known as National Institute of Folk & Traditional Heritage, and DEVCOM-Pakistan marking International Women Day, concluded at Shakarparian.
The festival culminated with the prestigious souvenir distribution ceremony. The chief guest of the ceremony was Dr. Zafar Iqbal Qadir, chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), and the guest of honour was Brigadier Ihsanullah Khan, director general (planning) at the Earthquake Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA).
In his address, Lok Virsa Executive Director Khalid Javaid thanked all contributors, especially NDMA, ERRA and UN Women, for extending their support and making the event a success.
He assured that Lok Virsa, being a prime cultural body charged with the mandate for collection, documentation and preservation of Pakistan’s traditional heritage, would continue to provide healthy entertainment to the masses and opportunity to traditional practitioners, including master artisans, folk performers and folk dance groups.
Brigadier Ihsanullah Khan shed light on the efforts of ERRA for rehabilitation of earthquake victims during 2005 by reconstructing the lost and destroyed facilities, while following highest standards of reconstruction and rehabilitation with the obligation to ‘Build Back Better’.
NDMA Chairman Dr. Zafar Iqbal said the main purpose of taking part in the event was to highlight the efforts and achievements on livelihood and health after disasters.
An array of colourful activities were organised during the festival by setting up 56 stalls to reflect the needs and issues related to women, young girls, children and other vulnerable groups after disasters in Pakistan.
Prominent artisans who participated in the event included Khalida Parveen (Multani embroidery), Fouzia Naheed (doll making), Yasmin and Robina Ghazi (embroidery), Afshan Azhar (jewellery) and Spozmai (Balochi embroidery).