Islamabad-National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) on Saturday evening organised a grand celebration to reflect on its last three year’s strategy for progress.

The event was attended by large number of people including MNA Ramesh Kumar, Ambassador of European Union to Pakistan Jean-François Cautain, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Neil Buhne, other foreign and local diplomats, film director Syed Noor, writers par excellence IA Rehman, Mujahid Brelvi, Murtaza Solangi and other members of film, TV and media fraternity. Lok Virsa’s board members Farooq Qaisar and Akhunzada Taqi Mir were also present on the occasion.

Each component of Lok Virsa’s strategy and progress was discussed in separate segments, including “Rebuilding Cultural Identity”, “Reclaiming Cultural Spaces”, “Strengthening Lok Virsa”, “Linkages with Cultural Institutions”, and “Promoting Diversity and Pluralism”.

A multimedia screen displayed presentation of short video clips, interviews, before and after visuals, demonstrating the progress made as a result of the last three years’ strategy. Host of each segment helped the audience through various presentations on multimedia screen. Audience were excited to see the launch of Lok Virsa’s digitised archives during “Strengthening Lok Virsa” segment. These archives can be accessed online from anywhere in the world.

The segment also included launch of ‘Lok Tunes’, a website featuring all of the recordings of famous artists recorded at the Lok Virsa . Neil Buhne shared his excitement with the audience, saying that he was already listening to music on the “Lok Tunes” website.

The evening was a fusion of discussion as well as music. Lok Virsa’s Open Mic stars took to stage and performed folk medley during the segment “Reclaiming Cultural Spaces”.  During the same segment, Syed Noor described “Mandwa Film Club” as a concept that was not only reviving the culture of film screenings but also helping to remind new generation about the real “Mandwa”. Lok Virsa’s dance troupe “Jamalo” paid tribute to vintage cinema by performing to the classic song “Socha tha Pyar na Karen Ge”.

“Linkages with Cultural Institutes” was a segment which paid tribute to partners of Lok Virsa such as Smithsonian Institute and the various local partners who form the Autaq cultural network. At this occasion, members of various communities who have worked with Lok Virsa during last three years stepped on stage to announce their appreciation for Lok Virsa . Lok Virsa’s supporters were also honoured with special medals during the same segment.

MNA Ramesh Kumar lauded the 3-year strategy and the resulting progress, saying that continuity of progress was essential to help preserve cultures, traditions and heritage of Pakistan.  Ambassador Jean-François Cautain shared his own experience of Lok Virsa before and during the last three years, saying that the improvements were visibly exceptional. The evening concluded with performance by Krishan Laal Bheel.