NURTURING THE ROOTS
Vivek Sindhi Kendra
By Sunder Iyer
From arguably the most ancient civilizations to being in dire strains of preserving and protecting its culture and language, Sindhis have set afoot on many a journey and are currently at the cross roads of cultural oblivion. It’s the most unfortunate of circumstances today that the Sindhi civilization with its vastly rich culture is virtually at the anvil of ruins. The Sindhi community has now realized the grave perils facing the language and is actively trying to popularize its use, both in spoken as well as the written form. It’s been their sincere endeavour to promote Sindhi culture and it’s history in an effort to save it from the darkness of despair.
The community has realized that its high time to react, has decided to leave no stone unturned and are persevering to preserve and spread the eminence of the vast tradition. Several Sindhi groups are trying to rope in children and youngsters in the endeavour to keep the language alive. Vivek Sindhi Kendra is one such effort, initiated by the vastly popular and successful Vivekanand Education Society (VES). It was established in the year 1999-2000 and is located in the central suburbs of Chembur in Mumbai. The main channel of passing on information about the profound history of Sindh to the future generations, is through the various schools founded by the Sindhi community. It is widely accepted that for Sindhi culture to be sustained through the forthcoming eras, the very essence of being a Sindhi needs to be imbibed into the minds and hearts of the youngsters. Vivek Sindhi Kendra, working towards the same, is forging ahead in its single point programme of giving the Sindhi community the much-needed impetus.
The National Sindhi Library, which was started by the VES in 1989, has not been merged as a part of the Vivek Sindhi Kendra. This library has an amazing collection with a few Sindhi books dating back to many generations. The library would act as a boon to people from the various cross-sections of the society. It’s been a constant attempt of the Kendra to upgrade and increase the services of the library, with the invaluable co operation from members of the community.
The irony remains that eh community, despite having pioneered several reputed institutions across the country, has not made Sindhi language compulsory for all Sindhi students in these schools. VES has understood the significance of this aphorism and has made Sindhi compulsory for its Sindhi students. Vivek Sindhi Kendra in its endeavour of spreading the Sindhi language, has been conducting vacation and weekend classes on Sindhi for both, people of the community and the general public. It is their strong belief that the only way to reinstate the lost pride of being a Sindhi is through the awareness of their language. As more and more members, especially youngsters take up the language, there would soon be a day when Sindhi culture would be revived. This certainly has been the motive of the organisation.
The Vivek Sindhi Kendra is on the verge of enlarging its premises. There have been two more rooms allotted to the Kendra to help it pursue its goals further.
The president of the Kendra, Shri J. T. Wadhwani, has himself been in the forefront of this huge renaissance. He has published many books inspiring the community to devote themselves to the cause of the society and in reviving its lost glory.
For the tradition and values of this culturally rich community to continue through the annals of history, the youngsters need to be enlightened and made aware of these early, ideally during their years in school. For the progress and growth of any language, there is a need for readers to have an urge to write and an intellect to develop and express new ideas.
Heralding the Sindhi hopes, Vivek Sindhi Kendra have been involved in undertaking efforts to preserve and pass on the cultural wealth to the forthcoming generations. There certainly is light at the end of the tunnel and with organized efforts such as the Vivek Sindhi Kendra, the future will override the present glitches so as to sustain the golden riches of its past. Such sincere and honest endeavours need not only be complimented but supported in realizing its objectives.