By Seema Mir

ISLAMABAD, April 12 (APP): To organise Lok Mela annually is a wonderful effort by Lok Virsa to enliven the otherwise calm and quite atmosphere of Islamabad.
The 10-day Lok Mela organised by Lok Virsa is usually an amalgamation of different cultures of all the four provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit -Baltistan thus presenting an awesome look.
After entering the gates of Lok Virsa it portrays the live map of Pakistan encompassing cultural pavilions of all the four provinces, Balochistan, Sindh,Punjab, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa(KP),AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan.
The pavilions featured artists and artisans at work ranging from carving,weaving,pottery making,truck art,furniture making beside traditional apparel,food music and dance.
A visitor Prof. Shakeel Abbasi alongwith his family at a stall of carved wooden furniture while talking to APP said that all the pieces were an instant hit and he has bought those not only for his family but also as gifts for foreign friends.
The professor said he and his family loved to visit lok Mela every year and “we enjoy Balochi Sajji very much,” this time he said ,”We also had sajji and enjoyed the thrilling performance of Baloch folk dancers also joined by the visitors.”
He was all praise for Lok Virsa saying that it made an excellent effort to relive diverse traditions of Pakistan beside protecting and preserving cultural heritage of Pakistan.
He said such festivals provide a chance to people of Islamabad to see the diverse traditions of Pakistan and also an opportunity to buy traditional items of their choice.
A child, Dua Zafar buying some pottery from the truck art stall when asked by APP that why she was showing so much interest in that stall said, “Truck Art” was her assignment and she has to write a ‘reflection on it’.
“I have bought some items from here and will take these to my school,” Dua added.
Moreover, the traditional upbeat folk music coupled with performances takes the audience to an aura of enchantment making them dance to the traditional folk tunes.
Beside this provision of entertainment,Lok Virsa is also encouraging the male and female entrepreneurs from across Pakistan by allotting them stalls.
A handicapped (one hand) wooden showpiece maker Zameer Ahmed Khan from Hyderabad at his stall in Lok Virsa awaits recognition of his art by government.
While talking to APP, Zameer Ahmed Khan said he lost his one hand while working at a textile mill.Afterwards,he learnt his skill of wooden artcraft and made the wooden trophy of 2011 ICC world cup.
Besides, he said,he also made the miniature model of tomb of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
He said if government patronises him, he intended to open an institute to transfer his skills to others so that they can shape their destiny specially the handicapped ones.