LAHORE: The HomeNet Pakistan, Kite Flying Lovers Association (KFLA) and the Kite Flying Association (KFA) have welcomed the Punjab government’s initiatives for cultural revival and organising Basant festival in February.
Members of the three bodies said this during a joint press conference at the Lahore Press Club on Wednesday.
On this occasion, HomeNet Pakistan Executive Director Ume Laila Azhar applauded the efforts of the Shahbaz Sharif-led Punjab government, especially of Hamza Shahbaz and Minister for Education and Youth Affairs Rana Mashood.
She said that the Department Youth Affairs, Sports, Archaeology and Tourism had making serious efforts for holding Basant in February at Changa Manga.
She informed that it was the demand of the civil society organisations to revive the Basant in controlled zones to keep the festival alive and the public protected at the same time.
She said that allowing the holding of the festival would boost economic activity related to the event, and benefit the home-based kite makers.
Kite making is a home-based trade, and mostly women are involved in the business of kite making, some of them are own-account workers and others are piece workers. Since Basant was a tradition of Punjab, the workers had been involved in the kite making profession for many generations.
Many industries are related to the business of kite making, and scores of workers remained unemployed after the ban on the festival.
The ban also adversely affected the lives of those attached to the paper industry, hotel industry, glass industry, glue industry and tourism industry, to name a few.
“Home-based workers associated with the business of kite-making in Lahore are located in the Mochi Gate, Gudii Market, Dharampura, Kahna, Kot Lakhpat, Imamia Colony and other areas of Shahdara,” she informed.
She said that home-based women workers living in almost every low-income urban locality in the country, as well as in remote areas, were amongst the most exploited group of workers these days.
KFLA President Khalid Malik said that the government’s efforts for cultural preservation were commendable. He lauded Shahbaz Sharif’s efforts to give nation a sense of pride in their own heritage.
“The decision [to hold Basant] comes as a breath of fresh air to the frustrated youth of Lahore,” he said. He assured the Punjab government of their utmost cooperation in efforts to hold a safe Basant.
He outlined a number of safety proposals, which have already been tried and tested by the KFLA at various other venues worldwide, including the UK, US, France, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. “If these are implemented in letter and spirit, the casualty issue can be easily remedied.”
Lahore Kite Flying Association President Nadeem Wyne welcomed the policy statement of the Punjab government and assured it of all-out cooperation in making the festival an international success. He said the festival would help create a soft image of Pakistan across the world.
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