February 3, 2014
Islamabad, 3rd February, 2014: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), on behalf of Government of Japan, has provided studio video recording & editing equipment; outdoor/field recording unit; video projection & display unit to Lok Virsa with the Grant Amount 49 million Yen (approx. USD 0.6 million). The project under which the equipment has been provided is officially titled as "The Project for Improvement of Audio Visual Equipment of the National Institute of Folk & Traditional Heritage at Lok Virsa, Islamabad".
A ceremony to this effect was held whereby H.E the Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Mr. Hiroshi Inomata inaugurated the newly equipped studio & handed over the equipment to Mr. Parvez Rashid, Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting & National Heritage. Mr. Mitsuyoshi Kawasaki, Chief Representative of JICA and Ms. Shaheera Shahid, Executive Director of Lok Virsa were also present on the occasion.
This is the third time Grant Aid assistance that has been provided to Lok Virsa starting from 1987, second time assistance in 1994 & the third & current assistance has just completed (2014). The first Grant led to the establishment of present studio, control room & other related facilities at National Institute of Folk & Traditional Heritage situated in Lok Virsa. The equipment then provided was in U-Matic format; in 1994 it was upgraded to Betacam/analogue type equipment & now to digital/High Definition quality equipment.
The Project is intended to promote collection, preservation & dissemination of cultural heritage in Pakistan. It is also expected to promote cultural integration across Pakistan. Lok Virsa is the only forum where artisans, folk singers/musicians interact nationally & collaborate with each other, irrespective of their cultural diversity, through their music, festivity, & other cultural activities usually conducted with the audio/video equipment provided under Japanese Grant Aid. The archives developed through Japanese equipment have also been instrumental in assisting more than 120,000 students, researchers, scholars on yearly basis to their pursuits of better understanding & further strengthening of the role of culture & heritage in nation building & cultural integration and dissemination abroad. Other audio video programs, festivals, live musical concerts, exhibitions & folk lore classics developed through Japanese cultural Grants have also provided income generation opportunities to the artisans & artists of Pakistan even in the remote areas. Additionally, it is expected that Lok Virsa's documentaries & audio video cassettes will continue to remain an inspirational & authentic source of learning on traditional music & culture.
This Project is being launched on the occasion of completion of 60 years of JICA-Pakistan Cooperation which started in 1954. Hence, this project also symbolically represents the strong cultural ties & decades old trusted partnership between two countries, Pakistan and Japan.