CHITRAL-Tourists thronged Chitral to attend a cultural festival organised to promote and keep cultural values of the district alive.

The district administration and Chitral Scouts jointly organised the festival where different stalls including of embroidery, handicraft, local art, books and literature providing information about wildlife of the district were set up.

Caravan Vocational School set up a separate stall, displaying embroidery and handicraft and different item including decoration pieces made by women getting training at the school. Talking to this scribe, school principal Farida Sultana Faree said that hundreds of girls had been learning different skills like sewing, embroidery and beauty parlour courses at the school.

She said that around 60 women were enrolled in the school and learning skills that would enable them to earn a respectable living for themselves as well as for their families.

Around 18 people including 16 women committed suicide in the last six months in Chitral. A girl and a boy committed suicide in two separate incidents in Chitral last Wednesday. The first incident happened in Booni area, where 14-year-old girl Tayyeba committed suicide by jumping into Chitral River.

The second incident happened in Barok village of Laspur valley where a 17-year-old boy Muhammad Hussain committed suicide by shooting himself down with a gun. The reasons behind these incidents could not be known but local people say that honor, poverty and domestic violence among others are main factors responsible such incidents.

Farida Sultana lamented over increasing suicide cases mainly involving women in a peaceful district like Chital, and claimed that vicious poverty was behind these incidents, as these women have no job and economic opportunities.

She urged the provincial government and international aid organisations to extend financial assistance and open vocational training centers throughout the district where locals could learn various skills. She said that the government could contain incidents of suicide by enabling youth, including male and females, to support their families.