ISLAMABAD-Renowned folk singer from Cholistan Krishan Lal Bheel enthralled visitors of folk festival ‘Lok Mela’ here at National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa).

His troupe was taking part in 10-day annual folk festival of Lok Virsa here at Garden Avenue Shakarparian. The troupe is accompanied by Satrara Lal, Kaliya Ram, Bikam Das, Mano Gee, Gumna Gee, Javid, Manzoor Gee and Ustad Sattar Jogi who plays the flute. He said his family was amongst the first to have played it in Tharparkar.

Krishan Lal Bheel sang in his local language Marvai and brought out the true ethos of his land. He was dressed up in his traditional costume (in golden waistcoat) and created an aura through the various aspects of his performance.

His local language is Marwari, but he is also fluent in Hindi, Sindhi, Punjabi, Urdu Saraiki, Registani and Rajasthani.

He can sing in all these languages but when he sings in Marvai it brings out the true ethos of the land. He plays the ektara as he performs.

He had learnt the art from his father and older brother.

Talking to APP, he said he wanted to pass it on to the future generations. “My wife also performs in the troupe although women from our tribe are not generally allowed to do so,” he said. He said that he had started singing from 1970. “I am singing from last 30 years. I also performed in Norway, Germany, Dubai, and Turkmenistan.”

He appealed the government to restore monthly financial assistance, as he spent whole life promoting art and culture of Pakistan.

He said that he also performed at Rafi Peer Folk Puppet Festival and got big applause from the audience.

Fishing in Rawal Dam restricted due to security reasons

Fishing, the leisure sport for spending healthy time along the water body has been restricted in Rawal Dam due to security reasons.

The officials in the district administration told APP on Sunday that anglers were allowed to fish for three days a week (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) from sunrise to sunset.

“The ban was first imposed in 2015 on angling in the dam due to security threats showed by intelligence reports. At present, it is only permissible for three days a week in the old site area also known as backside of the Rawal Dam,” they said.

He added that it was around 1-2 kilometres bank which provided enough space to fishermen to hold angling. The anglers, he said were not only fishing rather used to put fishing nets to catch large number of fish which was not permissible.

The violators were fined as per law and their fishing rods and nets were banned, he added.

The official said angling was not a profession rather a sport to spend healthy time in nature whereas anglers were catching over 40 kilogrammes of fish.

“They are using a chemical for the purpose which attracts fish to their corner where they easily catch maximum fish. However, the chemical is not harmful to aqua life and human beings,” he added.

To a question, he said the weekend days were selected to tempt large number of anglers whereas most of the fishermen used to come from Rawalpindi. The angling fee for two rods is Rs1,000 which had been revised from Rs200 after 25 years, he added.

Moreover, he said in case of intelligence reports from Punjab, high profile movements and events in the federal capital; the anglers were barred from fishing in the Dam.

Talking to APP, Angler Asif said the fisheries department had made unjustified increase in the fishing fee. However, earlier angling was permitted throughout the week but at present only three days permission was illogical.

“Rs75,000 have been earned for three days fishing which shows the potential of the sport to generate revenue,” he added.

The authorities should realise the significance of fishing in revenue generation and bring ease in the prevailing law. He said there should be a revision in the angling fee to attract maximum anglers as Rs1,000 fee was unaffordable to anglers.