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KARACHI: Dr Fehmida appointed SLA chairperson

June 05, 2008

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KARACHI, June 4: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has appointed Dr Fehmida Hussain as the first woman chairperson of the Sindh Language Authority.

Dr Fehmida Hussain, who has authored several books, is a holder of the presidential award, “Pride of Performance” in the field of literature. She is also the director of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai chair.

The SLA, which will have 11 members in addition to secretaries of culture, education, finance, revenue, has been assigned to prepare a comprehensive encyclopaedia that will be instrumental in the promotion of Sindhi art, culture, heritage and its literature.

This was stated by Sindh Culture and Tourism Minister Sassui Palejo while talking to Dawn at her office in New Sindh Secretariat on Tuesday.

She said she would like to set up a language laboratory under the Sindh Language Authority so that research could be carried out to enrich the Sindhi language further. She said the chief minister had already approved the summary submitted to him in this connection.

Regretting that no concrete work had ever been carried out to promote tourism despite the rich heritage of 4,000-year-old Indus valley civilisation, the minister said that her department had asked the finance department to release Rs400 million for the promotion of tourism and culture of Sindh.

She said that she already had ordered the construction of rest houses at places of tourists’ attraction like Nagarparker to explore tourism potential of Thar that had a rich culture.

Ms Palejo said, “The amount would be utilised to develop and establish cultural complexes in all districts in the province. Each complex would comprise a library, an auditorium and an arts council as these institutions play an important role in educating people about rich cultural heritage and promote peace.”

She said that extremism and terrorism could only be checked effectively through the promotion of cultural values, traditions and social justice.

In reply to a question, she said that a process to link up all important libraries of the province through the internet had been initiated. This would help researchers and scholars to easily access the library books, he added.“We have planned to make all the books, particularly those required for preparations of national and international competitive examinations, available in every district library,” she said. At least books required for the IELTS, IIM entrance test, CAT and TOFEL tests would be made available at these libraries.

In rural areas, she said, students had neither access to the books required to prepare for the competitive exams nor tuition facility. Consequently, she said, they could not avail scholarships nor could they get admission to prestigious institutions.