ISLAMABAD (NNI) The National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage, popularly known as Lok Virsa has embarked upon an initiative for organising a programme called Talent Hunt Singing Competition among female singers of Potohar region. The programme was a view to promote art and artists of Potohar and to provide an opportunity to the local youth who have attained the talent in music and singing but still unexplored or known little to the public. This programme was organised by Lok Virsa in collaboration with National Development and Management Council on Sunday at the Rawalpindi Arts Council under on-going joint institutional cooperation between Pakistan and Norway. Lok Virsa is a specialised cultural body charged with the mandate for collection, documentation, preservation and dissemination of Pakistans tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Since its inception, Lok Virsa has been working to promote traditional arts and artists, musicians of Pakistan. The idea behind holding the event was that in the conventional society, women are most under-privileged segment and normally kept themselves away from cultural activities. This activity provided a forum to young women to express themselves and show their talent and win recognition at the national level. Talking to the media, Lok Virsas executive director Khalid Javaid informed that his institution being a national body at the federal level works in close association with all regional and community based organisations in order to document and preserve indigenous folk culture and musical traditions. This initiative aiming to support young talent from Potohar region was also a step forward in this direction. He also acknowledged with great appreciation the valuable contribution that the Royal Norwegian Government is extending in this regard. In a message, the Norwegian Ambassador to Pakistan, Robert Kvile, said culture is one of our priority areas. Our objective is to help preserve and strengthen Pakistans rich cultural heritage. The core of our relationship is our development cooperation, which is now in its fourth decade, he maintained. The diplomat lauded the services of Lok Virsa as a lead Pakistani partner for cultural cooperation between Pakistan and Norway. Initially, a batch of thirty-three female artists tried their voices and revealed their talent to a large number of spectators. Three cash and eight consolation prizes were given to the winners on the basis of judgement made by a jury comprising knowledgeable people in the field of culture and music. All other participants received shields as token of their participation in the event. Artists who gave special performance on the occasion were Ustad Abdul Latif Khan, Ustad Mehfooz Khokar, Ustad Rustam Khan and Ustad Fateh Ali Khan.