Islamabad:May 03: A seven-day training programme for children in ‘Lacquer Art and Stone Carving: Engagement with Artisans’ started at National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) on Monday. The training is a part of the ‘Craft of the Month’ series launched by Lok Virsa in September 2015 carrying the slogan ‘Harnessing Culture with Education.’ It aims at focusing on a particular craft every month with major emphasis to promote traditional crafts and provide an opportunity to the youth community, who has little or no exposure to the living cultural heritage of Pakistan, to interact with artisans and learn essential craft related techniques from them. Explaining details, Lok Virsa Executive Director Dr Fouzia Saeed said that Lok Virsa has initiated this training programme for students and young children around folk crafts. “We highlight one craft every month for a week and have artisans and experts available for children to engage them in creativity in a peaceful and interactive environment. These craft-persons not only display their crafts and make them in front of the people but also teach children and have materials for them to experiment with the medium. It will give them hands on opportunity to become familiar with the folk crafts,” she said. The training programme creates a link between culture and education, encourages youth to value dignity of labour, fosters ownership for their culture, inculcates respect for different professions and character building, helps understand the contributions of craftspeople in the sustainable development of their community and engages students in creative works by providing them opportunities to learn crafts from artisans. The workshops are also aimed at recognising the hard work of artisans associated with various crafts to ensure continuity of the crafts from generation to generations and documents, promotes and preserves the crafts of Pakistan. Sixty children in the age group of 6-14 years from various schools and colleges working under the administrative control of Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) and special persons from Directorate General of Special Education are actively participating in the programme. Master artisans, who are imparting training to the children include Samiullah, expert in lacquer art from D I Khan and Zahid Hussain, stone carver from Taxila. Both of them possess a vast knowledge and experience of association with their profession. They have been participating in national and international exhibitions and festivals and promoting the image of Pakistan by demonstrating their artisanship before the foreign visiting delegates and dignitaries. Timings of the training programme are from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. Admission is free. Apart from school students, children of the visitors to Lok Virsa Heritage Museum are also encouraged to learn craft-making techniques from master artisans without any charges. The interested parents can contact Lok Virsa Museum Section on 9249200 or 0300-5204755 for registration purposes.The news.