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Lok Virsa boardroom dedicated to Baloch singer

By our correspondents
January 16, 2018

Islamabad: In a tribute to a Baloch folk artist, the Lok Virsa on Monday named a recently renovated boardroom after Hani Baloch to acknowledge her contribution to Balochi folk music.

Born in Balochistan in 1915, Hani Baloch was known for singing Ladok, Nazok and devotional songs in weddings and important celebrations. It was in 1955 that she joined the Radio Pakistan and earned mainstream recognition by performing with other famous singers of the time.

The Lok Virsa previously also memorialised three of its halls with the name of well-known female singers like Zarsanga from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mai Bhagi from Sindh and Bali Jatti from Punjab.

This latest move also follows the inauguration of several important facilities at the institute, after revamping and refurbishing of its old blocks, such as the inauguration of ‘Faiz Heritage Library’, ‘Bali Jatti’ rooftop theatre, Heritage Shop, ‘Lok Khaba’ and ‘Sharbat Point’.

Lok Virsa Executive Director Dr Fouzia Saeed said: “It is unfortunate that women are disappearing from folk music, but Lok Virsa is making every possible effort to provide an enabling environment so that the mantle of folk music is transferred to the new generation.”

She said it was a tribute to the services of Hani Baloch, which she gave to the folk music of Balochistan for more than three decades, entertaining millions not only in Pakistan but across the world.

Balochi musician and Benjoo player Ustad Taj Muhammad Tajal, who attended the ceremony as a special guest, praised the efforts of Lok Virsa for honouring the fabulous folk artists of country in such a beautiful manner.

He said the way Lok Virsa was paying tribute to legends of folk industry by naming its halls and boardroom with their name it seemed impossible to forget them. “This is the best way to make your new generation familiar with such great folk singers as this create curiosity among our current generation to know about them,” he said.

The Hani Baloch Boardroom is incorporated within the Research and Publications Wing to facilitate it and also to serve a larger purpose as all official meetings of Lok Virsa will be held here. The interior of the boardroom is artfully decorated with portraits of former Executive Directors of Lok Virsa. It can accommodate up to 35 people altogether for a multimedia presentation.