Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government is planning to organise a grand cultural event to mark the centennial celebrations of the Pashto literature. Deputy Director K-P Directorate of Culture Shahbaz Khan said that they had been working to promote both tangible and intangible components of the Pashto culture internationally.
“We have specialists working on different aspects of culture including research and documentation, languages and literature, visual arts and crafts, and steps to integrate culture with modern technology,” Shahbaz added.
To create financial opportunities for local artisans, a business plan is being formulated by the government which will strengthen the cultural industry as well, he said, adding that a help desk for the artisans at the cultural directorate will also be formed in this regard.
A two-day workshop, he said, will be arranged for visual artists and craftsmen to enhance their skills and understanding of the international market.
Boasting of culture directorate’s performance, he said that in line with the Unesco convention in 2003, we have already uploaded intangible elements of cultural heritage on its website which is reflective of their resolve to preserve the culture.
“We are trying our best to promote our culture and elevate the social status of artisans,” he added.
The K-P government has recently announced a monthly stipend of Rs30,000 for selected talented artistes and singers of the province.
The government was making efforts to revive cultural activities in the province by facilitating artistes in producing quality work, a senior official of the Directorate of Culture had reportedly said.
Funds were allocated for this project in the 2016-17 budget. The move aims at assisting artistes, singers, poets and painters, whose work has suffered greatly because of the militancy in the province.
This will be the second phase of the stipends similar to the previous year when the provincial government provided stipends to 500 artists. The beneficiaries were selected through a committee comprising senior artists, singers and writers from different parts of the province. The K-P government has to re-start the project as a large number of artists are approaching the directorate of culture for financial assistance.
Endowment fund for the welfare of artists writers and artisans will also be set up. Besides the monthly stipends, the directorate will also give away Rs300,000 each to the best drama artiste, writer and singer of the year.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2017.