Lok Virsa Block printing learn at workshop, block printing fashion 2016
Block printing event aims to draw children towards traditional arts
STUDENTS learn block printing at a workshop in Lok Virsa on Monday.
By Asma Kundi
ISLAMABAD: A seven-day block printing workshop started on Monday at Shakarparian as part of Lok Virsa’s ongoing series, ‘Craft of the Month’.
Some 50 children from various schools working under the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) attended the workshop.
A block printing artist from Karor Pacca, Haji Akbar Chughtai, who was busy teaching children his craft, told Dawn he has been in the business since he was a child.
He said there was a huge demand for block printed material like bed sheets, shawls, suits, and table runners among others.
Meanwhile, children at his stall were busy painting gaily coloured animals and birds on different cloths.
A teacher accompanying the students, Asma Pir Mohammad, said the programme will help in creating a link between the children and their cultures.
“Children will get attached to the crafts and may even decide to work in the field someday,” she said.
Lok Virsa’s series, Craft of the Month, is aimed at raising awareness among the youth about Pakistani culture and providing them with a platform for interacting with artisans and encouraging them to learn different arts.
The programme is meant to inspire creativity in children and will help them recognise the hard work that goes into making beautiful pieces of art.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the block printing programme, Senator Nuzhat Sadiq said: “Children are our future. Lok Virsa has taken the right step to raise awareness about our folk crafts and other traditions. We should all support this important initiative.”
She said the Craft of the Month series will go a long way in preserving our traditions.
Lok Virsa Executive Director Dr Fouzia Saeed told Dawn the workshop was a small step towards a bigger goal.
“We cannot make the children experts in the crafts, but we can at least spark an interest for the crafts in them,” she said.
She explained that one craft is chosen every month and masters in the craft are then invited to showcase their skills for a month. These skilled professionals also show young children how they make their art and let the students try their hand at it as well.
Four other programmes under the series; for truck art, pottery, doll making and weaving, have proved popular with both children and adults.
The masters in block printing who are taking part in the workshop this week include Ameer Bukhsh who is an expert in vegetable dyeing, Haji Akbar Chughtai from Karor Pacca who excels in block printing, Abdul Hayee Badin to teach Ajrak making and Syed Mutahir Huseein form Islamabad, who also makes block prints.
Students of Islamabad Model College for Girls G-8 presented national songs and famous Punjabi folk songs as part of a cultural diversity show titled ‘Rhythm of Unity’.
Senator Nuzhat Sadiq also awarded certificates to participants of last month’s programme on weaving and to the winners of a youth painting contest.
The next programme in the series will be on Kashmiri folk craft and will be held next month at the Heritage Museum.