Thatta Kedona

Culture is a Basic Need

Happy New Year

Friends of the AFA-Project in Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka
A Happy New Year!


posted by Omar M. Ali @ 10:41 AM, , links to this post


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posted by Omar M. Ali @ 10:31 AM, , links to this post

Senta Siller Art Center {WAC}

Women Art Center at the village Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka, district Okara in Punjab has been renamed as Senta Siller Art Center (SSAC) to honour the German lady Dr. Senta Siller, who had initiated this center back in 1993. This decision was agreed made and announced at a meeting in the Center, which was attended by a number of village girls and women, who have worked with Dr. Senta Siller, the honourable Mother of Dolls over the decades.

Mr. Amjad Ali, the newly elected president of the local NGO “Anjuman-e-Falah-e-Aama” told the enthralled gathering that by renaming the center the people of the village are honouring Dr. Siller’s hard work and commitment with the village over a quarter of a century.

Dr. Siller activated the village women and resumed the tradition of making dolls. This was the beginning of a successful attempt to generate income for women living in rural areas. Initially the hand-crafted dolls and dozens of other handicrafts were offered and sold in the local market at different bazaars. Later these products were also sent abroad. She also initiated a number of health, awareness and education projects in the village.

Although Dr. Senta Maria Anna Siller celebrated her 81st birthday this November, she is still active in assisting the project “Thatta Kedona” and selling its handicrafts at different bazaars in Germany. An artist and designer by profession, she was born in Vienna and now lives in Berlin, Germany.

She has been awarded Bundesverdienstkreuz (highest civil order of merit of the Federal Republic of Germany) and many other honours from different countries. All friends of Thatta Kedona project are wishing and hoping that Pakistan’s President will soon be announcing the Pride of Performance Award for Dr. Senta Siller’s exemplary and untiring efforts for the cause.

Given age, she is not able to fly frequently and visit the Project that she had once initiated but the people of Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka will always remember her fondly and pray for her health and happiness.

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posted by Omar M. Ali @ 10:48 AM, , links to this post

Solar Energy bringing light to doll making girls

There was a big event, another milestone, in Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka on 24 November 2016: to celebrate the distribution of small solar systems, donated by the Government of Punjab. Thanks to the personal interest of the Chief Minister of Punjab Mian Shehbaz Sharif.

This donation was the result of an early October meeting between Dr. Norbert Pintsch and the CM Punjab. This meeting was followed by another meeting between the Secretary Energy Punjab Dr. Asad Gilani and Mr. Pintsch, which resulted in the donation of 70 solar power units for domestic use.

The MoU between the Secretary Energy Punjab Dr. Asad Gilani and the representatives of NGO Anjuman-e-Falah-e-Aama was signed at the Energy Secretariat Punjab on the 11 November 2016. This signing ceremony was hosted by Dr. Asad Gilani and was attended by a number of dignitaries, inducing the DCO Okara Mr. Socrat Aman Rana and district directors, representing the Social Welfare and Environment departments Okara.
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posted by Omar M. Ali @ 9:53 AM, , links to this post

Thatta Kedona” shines at Daachi Arts and Crafts Exhibition

A three day grand cultural event ended successfully on Monday, 14th of November at Lahore Grande, after celebrating the rich and colourful Pakistani culture for three full days. Daachi Arts and Crafts Exhibition took place from 12th to 14th November and was organised by Daachi Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, which was established in Lahore in 2010 and aims to preserve and promote the culture and heritage of Pakistan. The theme this year was “sustainable Lifestyle”.

There were dozens of stalls, where exhibitors presented the vast variety of their handmade objects ranging from carpets, shawls, clothes, bags and shoes to wall hangings, decoration pieces, salt lamps and recycled paper.

“Thatta Kedona” - a project of Anjuman-e-Falah-e-Aama based in the village “Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka”, District Okara, was one of the most prominent exhibitors at this exhibition. Amidst the clay pots, truck art themed souvenirs, handmade jewelry, bags and clothes, “Thatta Kedona” was presenting its colourful village toys, including stuffed dolls adorned in traditional clothes, adorable little earrings with tiny traditional dolls hanging from them, and similar miniature finger puppets and pencil holders.

Farzana Zahoor, representing “Thatta Kedona” told that the participation at this festival was a big success for the project. She said that the visitors were not only interested in different types of ethnic dolls but also in tin toys such as mini rikshaws and mini trucks.

Daachi Foundation is successfully promoting the rich Pakistani heritage, the incredible talent of the indigenous craftsmen and their remarkable local crafts. “Thatta Kedona” is looking forward to the next Daachi Exhibition, which will take place in April 2017.

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posted by Omar M. Ali @ 1:09 PM, , links to this post

Anjuman-e-Falah-e-Aama active with craftspeople from village Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka in Lahore

The dolls and handicrafts project “Thatta Kedona” from the village Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka in Okara district recently exhibited their products at a three-day handicrafts exhibition at Old Tollinton Market in Lahore. This exclusive exhibition was organised from 21st of October till 23rd of October 2016 by a non-profit company AHAN (Aik Hunar Aik Nagar), which was established back in 2007 to support rural based micro and small handicrafts enterprises.

Anjuman-e-Falah-e-Aama craftspeople successfully displayed colourful hand-made toys, camels, bracelets, keyrings, bookmarks and above all famous and beautiful ethnic dolls. A large number of visitors were attracted to the “Thatta Kedona” stall. Farzana Zahoor and Farooq Ahmad, who were representing the Dolls Village at the “Thatta Kedona” stall, told that they were able to sell a large number of items at the exhibition and that their participation at this exhibition was also commercially a big success.
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posted by Omar M. Ali @ 5:45 PM, , links to this post

Transition of the Village Project

Since the beginning of the project 25 years ago when Dr Senta Siller and Dr Norbert Pintsch set their feet here, the Dolls Village (Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka) is changing at a very fast pace. Those who are familiar with the project know how the village has transformed in the past quarter century and how it stands out not only in Pakistan but also at international level.

Now the transition has gone to the wonderful new level. 

Soon after his arrival in Pakistan this time, Prof Dr Norbert Pintsch met with Mr Shahbaz Sharif, CM Punjab on on 30 October 2016. On the interest and instructions of CM Punjab, Okara district is taking a fresh look at the Project. Many of the senior district administrators have visited the Village and want to contribute to the uplift of the Village.

First meeting in this connection was held (on 3 October 2016) with Secretary Energy Punjab where solarization of the Village was discussed. It was agreed that work on provision of Solar Power at the household level will start soon. (Friends of the Dolls remember that Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka is already one of the first Punjab village where solar power was installed in Women Art Center building.) 

On 4 October 2016, office bearers of Village NGO AFA along with Dr Norbert Pintsch and Mr Aamir Rafiq met with DCO Okara. The DCO was also forthcoming and plans to uplift the village Schools (there are two primary Schools in the village), provision of furniture for students, conversion of Village Pond into a Children Playing Park, disposal of gray water and appointment of Lady Health Worker in the village were discussed.

Next day, Dr Norbert had a meeting with Punjab Small Industries Department who promised to declare Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka as Model Artisan Village of Punjab and promised to promote the Dolls Making Skills at National and International levels. He also said that Thatta Kedona products will be displayed in Small Industries outlets through out the country.  

On academic front, Prof Dr Norbert Pintsch delivered a lecture at the Institute of Social and Cultural Studies, University of the Punjab on 6 October 2016 on the topic of “City-Village-Development, between holistic models for rural areas, of the prevailing general situation, to the closed system”.

Dr Norbert Pintsch is working fast on the transition of the all NGO to the local office bearers. Hope is that locals will be able to take on the NGO work to next level without any dependence soon.

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posted by Omar M. Ali @ 9:13 AM, , links to this post

Thatta Kedona Show

Pakistan Slide Show

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posted by Omar M. Ali @ 12:00 AM, , links to this post

City-Village-Development, Between Holistic Models for Rural Areas

On the last leg of his current visit to Pakistan, Prof Dr Norbert Pintsch delivered a lecture at Institute of Social and Cultural Studies, University of the Punjab on October, 6 2016, at 11:00 am on the topic of “City-Village-Development, between holistic models for rural areas, of the prevailing general situation, to the closed system”.. Students and members of the faculty PST attended.

Guest Speaker Dr Norbert explained city village development with real life examples that the students could relate. The lecture was followed by a very meaningful discussions and questions by the students. 
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posted by Omar M. Ali @ 9:16 AM, , links to this post

Dr Norbert Pintsch meets CM Punjab

Prof Dr Norbert Pintsch, a senior German volunteer, called on the Chief Minister Punjab Mr Shahbaz Sharif on 30 September 2016 and discussed wide range of matters relating improvements in village Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka and how the government of Punjab can help the Project in the village being run with the support of German volunteers. Dr Norbert also apprised the CM about what has been happening in the village for last 25 years since the start of the Project.

The meeting with CM Punjab has triggered a good amount of activities and a lot seems to be happening in the Village besides visit of high ranking officials of Okara District.

In addition (and as a result of CM’s interest in the Dolls Village Project), Dr Norbert Pintsch is going to meet Energy Department Punjab on 3 October where solarization/electrification of Basic Health Unit and street lighting in the village will be discussed.

On 4 October 2016, a meeting is scheduled with DCO, Okara for discussion on cleanliness of buffalo pond, drainage system, clean drinking water project, maintenance of the approach road,  and posting of more staff in village schools and Basic Health Unit.

Later on 5 October 2016, Dr Norbert Pintsch is also due to speak as guest speaker in Institute of Social and Cultural Studies, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan before he leaves for Germany.

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posted by Omar M. Ali @ 9:38 AM, , links to this post

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