MARDAN, May 16: The Greek Volunteers (GVs), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) of Greece, has established a museum -- Cultural Centre of Kalasha (Kalashadur) -– in the Bumburet town, Chitral district, where more than 200 objects depicting the culture and lives of Kalash people have been put on display.

Kalashadur in-charge Athanasios Lerounis, a teacher at a technical school in Athens and member of the GVs, had started work on the museum in 1995.

He told Dawn that the GVs had been established in 1999. Before the establishment of the NGO he was working individually under a Greek teachers’ federation, called Greek Teachers.

The NGO has started welfare activities in the Hindukush range where the Kalash valley exists. It has constructed schools, water tanks and hospitals and provided free medical treatment to the valley residents.

In 2001, it built the Bashali (maternity home) in the Karakal village of Bamboret and completed the construction of Kalashadur in 2004 with the assistance of its main sponsor -- Hellenic Aid of the Greek ministry of foreign affairs.

Mr Athanasios said the GVs members worked voluntarily and the entire fund was exclusively spent on the welfare of the people of the region. The NGO supervises the work from its foundation to completion.

The aim of Kalashadur, he said, was to support the unique Kalasha tradition and improve education, health and living standards of the people in three Kalash valleys -- Bumburet, Rumbur and Birir.

Mr Athanasios said the NGO had also planned a health centre, a school, seminar halls, a technical centre, a library and an ethnological museum in Bamboret.

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