Islamabad - The National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) organised a special evening with emerging child stars during its ongoing folk festival ‘Lok Mela’ here at Garden Avenue, Shakarparian.

Eminent musicologist SM Shahid was the chief guest on the occasion. Child artists who performed were Aashir, Subhan, Haider Ali and Muzammil from Islamabad, Zamin and Soniya from Peshawar, Sumera Ali and Zeeshan Ali from Hyderabad, Gul Muhammad from Khuzdar, Asim Khan from Sui, Zawwar Hussain from Mithi, Tatheer Hussain and Saqlain Abbas from Lahore, Moiz from Gilgit-Baltistan and others.

A large number of people from different walks of life including families and music lovers attended the event and enjoyed the thrilling performances presented by child singers.

In his address, SM Shahid said, “Children have a great potential to express their creativity. Lok Virsa deserves commendation for holding this cultural evening. By watching their energetic performances, one cannot imagine that these are children. We should continue such efforts to inculcate knowledge about our culture and music in the younger generation, who is the future of Pakistan.”

Earlier in her welcoming remarks, Executive Director Lok Virsa Dr Fouzia Saeed said, “It is an effort on part of Lok Virsa to sow the seeds of pluralistic society in the youth of Pakistan. We believe that it will serve to provide an orientation to children about our rich musical heritage.” It will also contribute towards creating ownership among children regarding Pakistan’s cultural heritage, besides reaffirming our identity of being multi-cultural and pluralistic country, she added.

Lok Mela continues with all its festivities. It focuses on diversity within provinces and serves to afford an opportunity to the masses and diplomatic community to witness authentic folk musical and cultural entertainment besides buying traditional items on affordable prices. Hundreds of master artisans, folk artists and rural performers from different parts including remotest regions are participating in Lok Mela, bringing with them their creativity in arts, crafts and innovation.

The daily features of the Mela include provincial cultural pavilions, folkloric song & dance ensembles, rural musicians, cultural nights, shopping mall, craft bazaar, artisans at work, traditional food court and many other attractions. The special events of the festival include celebrating diversity folk performances on 4th & 6th April, Sindhi musical night on 5th April, musical night of Gilgit Baltistan & Kashmir on 7th April, Punjab musical night on 8th April, provincial award ceremony & Balochistan musical night on 9th April, concluding ceremony & awards to artisans & artists and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa musical night on 10th April, 2016.

Lok Mela is open for public daily from 11:00am to 10:00pm. Entry ticket is Rs 30 per head for adults and discounted Rs 20 per head for students.