Thatta Kedona

Culture is a Basic Need

Preservation of Gogera Heritage

Preservation of Cultural Heritage

in Co-Operation with
German Society for the Advancement of Culture
Special Report by S A J Shirazi
This report reviews the situation of the cultural heritage in Pakistan and in particular it focuses on Gogera Fort, gives inventory of the fort and proposals for its preservation as well as management. Part II of covers the poverty alleviation and self help activities of community based local NGO Anjuman-e-Fala-e-AAma working in cooperation with German Society for the Advancement of Culture (DGFK) in Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka – Punjabi village famous all over the world for dolls and toys made here and developments taking place in the process. The report also covers the details of some of the tourists’ attractions in the historic breadbasket of Pakistan around Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka. This part of the report should be read along with the map of the area.
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How we customize Pashmina

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The 3L House Project

The 3L House Project is a combination of the fresh water project of NGO A.F.A. that includes the settlement of a landless family on the site.

Prof Dr Noor, Prof Dr Norbert Pintsch and Aamir Rafique (Secretary General AFA) in Lahore

The family receives as basic equipment, a one-room house, fresh water for personal needs, which is also to be used for the irrigation of the kitchen garden as well as for any other use as required (like small scale fish farming).

The 3L House Under Construction
At the same time, the house is protected by the presence of the family in the area.

The 3L Hose under construction
The 3L-House is a prototype with the dimension of 3 x 3 x 3 m, same like already existing in BNU and Peer Zada Cultural Complex, both located in Lahore.

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Discover Salman Aslam

Salman Aslam - a Writer and  Swimming Coach - read his blog Candid Schmooze, Follow on Twitter, Like his page on Facebook and or Google Plus.


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Exhibition titles "Impressions of a Dolls Village in Punjab" of photographs by Renate Borowka from Germany, recorded in 1994, in the Village of Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka (Dolls Village) was held in Alhamra Arts Gallery, Lahore on Mar 10, 2017. Dr Mira Phailbus, former Principal Kinnaird College with her with colleague Nergis Sobani was the chief guest. The Exhibition was attended by large number of culture lovers.

Renate Borowka was born on 4th January 1933 in Insterbürg, East Prussia (Now in Russia). She is now living in Berlin in Germany, where she started to learn photography and completed the two years course at the school “Lette Verein”. During this period many of her photos - mostly modified and alienated through her specific and exceptional art of image processing - were shown at numerous exhibition in and around Berlin.

In 1994 she travelled to Pakistan and visited the Village “Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka”. Recalling that journey she now says:”Senta Siller invited me to a small village in Pakistan. It was for me like a fairytale; happy, loving and hospitable people. I could never imagine that after a period of twenty three years my photos will bring such a great pleasure to the fairytale-like village and naturally to me also.”

“Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka” is a small village in Okara District. It was in this village that an NGO with the name “Anjuman-e-Falah-e-Aama” (AFA) was established in 1992. A boost to this NGO was the involvement of two volunteers from Germany, Mrs Dr. Senta Siller and her husband Dr. Norbert Pintsch. These two academics first visited this village in 1990, when they were invited by their Pakistani student Mr. Amjad Ali, who was born in this village and was working with Deutsche Welle (The Voice Of Germany) after studying in Germany.

Dr. Senta Siller was astonished to see the beautiful embroidery, different types of rag dolls, the variety of colourful handicrafts and the stitching capabilities of the village girls and women. She was surprised to know that they were not able to earn any money from their skills. It was at this moment that she started to think about helping the girls and women of the village to earn some money through making dolls and different types of handmade toys. As she was an artist and designer by profession, she helped the village girls to improve the design, shape and colour of their products.

To promote the village as the Village of Dolls, Dr. Senta Siller established a development project called “Thatta Kedona”. She started a Women Art Centre (WAC) in the village and trained the girls in making the best ethnic Pakistani dolls. During those early years Dr. Siller stayed in the village for very long periods, sometimes the whole year. Even in the hot summer months she devoted her full time to teach the girls different skills and crafts. In total she stayed for about 5 years in this remote village of Punjab.

For her work in Pakistan, she has been awarded Bundesverdienstkreuz (highest civil order of merit of the Federal Republic of Germany) and many other honours from different countries for her services to uplift and empower the Pakistani women.

The exhibition was held in Lahore to honour these great German women, who have in their own ways and selflessly contributed so much to improve the situation of women in a remote village of the Punjab.

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Videos by Omer M. Ali

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Exhibition Impressions of a Dolls Village in Punjab

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Dr Norbert Pintsch in Pakistan

Dr Norbert Pintsch is in Pakistan for Spring 2017.

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Dolls, Toys and More

Dolls, Toys and More was launched on April 28, 2012. Prof. Dr. Norbert Pintsch, Senior Expert DGFK, Germany presented a copy of Dolls Toys and More to Dr. Azam Chaudhry, the Dean, Lahore School of Economics. Dr. Norbert also apprised Dr. Azam Chaudhry of what has been happening in the village Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka – commonly called Dolls Village - over last two decades.

Dolls, Toys and More is a story of two decades of work by NGO in a village called Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka – some 80 kilometres from Lahore and on the bank of River Ravi. How change has come in the village?

Countless volunteers from Germany, Pakistan and also from other parts of the world have worked in the Village Project. The book gives an overview of the Project in detail as well as the description of local travel attractions. The travelogues section describes all places of interest in and around the areas, which will form a broader and touristy impression about the location to the reader as well as the interested tourists.

The life in the village is definitely interesting from the point of view of any urban visitor, but this topic may be discussed separately. An idea can be obtained however by reading the three short stories included in the book. The books also points out to the concept of Mud Housing and the Appropriate Technology and how they are being developed and used in the village.

What was conceived and founded by Dr Senta Siller has surely come of age. The book would not have been possible without the input and huge amount of work by Dr Norbert Pintsch, Dr Senta Siller and many others.

Dolls The book ISBN 978-969-0-02411-7 is available at Ferozsons Pakistan and other leading book stores.

Related: @ Thatta Kedona and @

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Happy New Year

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


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