Kalash development projects planned
KALASH, 21 Jan 08: For the first time a number of projects have been planned for the amelioration of the Kalash people of Chitral, official of works department told this correspondent on Friday. The official said that the projects included restoration and rehabilitation of jastakhan (dancing hall) in the three Kalash valleys of Birir, Rumbur and Bumburate for which an amount of 15 million rupees have been allocated in the annual development programme (ADP) of the current fiscal year.
The Kalash is the only minority community of Pakistan known internationally for their unique and ancient civilization, culture and ways of life. They reside in the three segregated valleys with a total population of about four thousand. The picturesque valleys of Kalash attract a good number of foreign tourists every year. The official further said that for the development and operationalization of the ethnology museum at Bumburate valley, Rs.4.681 million rupees have also been allocated in the current ADP. He said that 5 million rupees have further been provided in the ADP for the special package for the Kalash minorities.
When contacted, a Kalash social worker Mustakan Khan expressed his satisfaction over the community development in the Kalash valley and said that the justakhan are of vital importance in the Kalash valleys which also serve as community halls. He said that with the expanding population, the existing justakhans were insufficient and lacked modern facilities. He said that the establishment of the ethnology museum will boost tourism in the valleys and will preserve the Kalash culture and traditions. He stressed on the improvement of access roads to the valleys and said that valleys remain cut off from other parts of the district for more than four months in a year. He said that to raise the standard of life of the Kalash people, the roads are of vital importance. (Zahiruddin)