ISLAMABAD - The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) organised an exhibition of the cultural products of South Punjab on Tuesday.

Asif Ghafoor, Secretary National Heritage and Integration along with Professor Sajida Haider Vandal inaugurated the exhibition. HE Cecile Landsverk Ambassador of Norway Embassy also attended the occasion.

The exhibition displayed the cultural products prepared under the joint initiative by Unesco in partnership with THAAP in 2012. The project was carried out in two villages in the outskirts of Bahawalpur City of BC 33 and Dingarh which is the drought affected area of Cholistan desert where 150 women have been engaged through capacity building in crafts making and focused on providing opportunities for income generation and decent livelihoods. 

Capacity building, through artisan and designer collaboration, transferred and honed the skill level of the craftspeople in pit-loom woven fabric, chunri making skills, embroidery and ralli-making and developed designs to attract the contemporary market demands. New skills such as Ikat-making were also taught to the village weavers to increase their repertoire and equip them to explore different avenues and markets.

Pit-loom woven fabric and embroidered fabric of high quality was developed and the skills of continual design development transferred to the marginalised artisan communities of District Bahawalpur to enable long term benefits of the project. Equipped with management and marketing skills the participants of the project are poised for receiving orders from the up-market Islamabad buyers. The Unesco in collaboration with THAAP and Serena Business Complex organised the event.