Lok Virsa Proves to be a ‘Bad Host’:
Invited and Insulted Artists Complain Mismanagement
Behind the glittering and dazzling activity of Lok Mela being held at Lok Virsa here, there is gloominess, pain and desperation that take hold of the artists as soon as the visitors depart home every night. Dozens of artists taking part in the Lok Mela have to pass the sleepless nights for fear of their uncertain future as the festivity will end on 12th of June.
As artisans, musicians and different artists came from all provinces of Pakistan to show their culture and customs of their ancestors however, unfortunately so many artists are compelled to live in miserable condition due to alleged mismanagement of Lok Virsa administration.
A large number of women and men didn’t get stall at the pavilion of their respective province although they were invited by Lok Virsa. They complain about lack of cold drinking water, non-availability of fans, electricity and even shelter in the form of a tent.
“Lok Virsa has invited us to take part in the Lok Mela and now they are not ready to play the role of a good host, turning a deaf ear to our problems. We cannot complain beyond a limit as most of the artists are poor and fear of expulsion forces us to be quiet. I do not have a single penny to eat tonight,” said an artist requesting not to be named.
Nasreen Nisaar who is an artist told INFN, “I got my stall after a great struggle although I was invited by the administration.” Another artist, Yasmeen disclosed, “More than five artists have been thrust under one roof to sell their items.” Ghulam Hussain complained, “We do not have any facility in this scorching heat not even the cold water to drink and clean water for performing ablution to offer prayer”.
When INFN contacted to Executive Director of Lok Virsa Khalid Javaid, he clarified, “We provide stalls to all participants who are invited by Lok Virsa, but everyone wants to put a stall on the favorite spot. How can we give them the place of their choice with the space limitations we are already facing?”
He further said, “We have given all facilities to artists as they are our guests and it’s our responsibility to provide them whatever they need, as we have invited them to grace this Lok Mela and entertain the people of the twin cities”.
Abdul Shakoor, an artist at Lok Mela pleaded, “Artists have come here from such great distances only for earning respect not for bagging humiliation; we have brought our culture and civilization with us here, artists are the most effective source to promote the ancestor’s culture and civilization in the society. However, the humiliating attitude met by us by the administration is very disheartening.”