SINDHI SHIKSHA & SAHITYA SANGAT
The Indefatigable Crusader
by Prem Tolani
Since last 35 years, while participating in various literary, cultural, social activities. I have found that our Sindhis N.G.O.s are working in some part of India since the last 40-50 years. These All-India N.G.O.s are working mostly in few provinces of India, which we may name as “The Mainland of Sindhis in India”. E.g.: Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh and to certain extent Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. Moreover, their activities are limited to 5/6 cities in each province. Obviously, our N.G.O.s are working in not more than 35 cities of India in totality. They have never peeped in the villages and the towns where 5-10 to 150 families of Sindhis are dwelling. Consequently, more than 70% of Sindhi population is deprived of these activities and they are far from the movement of N.G.O.s who endeavour constantly for the promotion of Sindhi Art and Culture. In the near future, there is apprehension that large chunk of our Sindhi population will be completely snatched away from the mainland of Sindhiyat and ultimately they will be under the influence of the local environments.
Besides that, Sindhi families who have scantily settled in Assam, Orissa, W. Bengal, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and their interior parts, are simply away from the mainland even today. They are also finalizing their matrimonial relations also in those provinces or cities making it a very limited sphere of their surroundings. Even in Maharashtra, Sindhi families, due to the circumstances have created several small and narrow regions for their matrimonial and social purposes. In this exercise, they have created blocks, which will hamper adversely the integration of Sindhis. Evidently, in the near future, we may lose a good part of our population, which may not be called Sindhis.
The opinion has been rightly expressed by several Sindhi Educationists and intellectuals that under the circumstances we can retain our identity thought the speaking of Sindhi language and music, dance and rangmanch i.e. dramas, etc. Well! Unless we reach the villages and towns to propagate and to motivate the Sindhi inhabitants, how can they join our mainstream?
THE PRESIDENT - ABOUT THE MOVEMENT
Every Sindhi soul, either educationist, philosopher, guide saint or politician, severely or individually is of the firm opinion that unless the Sindhi language is revived, at least as speaking language among the Sindhis, which is the symbol of our identity, the extinction of Sindhi Community with the passage of time, is certain. There are various such examples in history which can substantiate this fact.
Thus, after long series of symposiums, seminars etc. held since last 30-40 years, we arrived at the decision that unless all layers of Sindhi Community are motivated properly, perpetually and logically, the survival of our Sindhi Culture, which we have kept in cold storage due to forced circumstances and with the continuous process of toiling in establishing ourselves economically, will be in danger.
Therefore Sindhi Shiksha and Sahitya Sangat (Regd. Trust) under this conception has rightly vowed to undertake this Herculean and distinguished task from March 2001. In the right pursuant we organized All Maharashtra Sindhi Panchayats Conference in Pune on 18-19th Sept. 2001, which was auspiciously presided by Rev. Dada J. P. Vaswani and Chaired by Hon'ble Ram Jethmalani. Thereafter our organization never looked back, but has been marching ahead. We sincerely and rightly felt and so feel now that good organization of men, sources and resources is essential to carry our message to the nook and corner of Maharashtra (our first preference State) Hence, we have formed the Co-ordination committee consisting of 24 Dists. in 48 cities.
We held 'Maharashtra Sindhi Mahila Conference for two days i.e. 15-16th November 2002 at Parbhani, where 139 lady delegated participated, representing 18 dist. of Maharashtra.
We held the conference of All Maharashtra Sindhi Managements of Schools & Junior Colleges on 29th Dec. 2003 at Pune under the Chairmanship of Rev. Dada Jashan Vaswani.
What we have observed from these activities is that the congregation at such conferences or in the mass meetings take oath that they would speak Sindhi at least in their homes or among the Sindhis who meet them, but the moment they cross the threshold of their houses they succumb to even unintentionally the pressure of their daughter's-in-law who come from Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi or Southern states, etc. They are hardcore Hindi speaking ladies including their daughters who are married in the above states. In these circumstances, perpetual hammering and moulding is needed for a long time to come. One has to put ceaseless efforts with perseverance.
In order to achieve tangible results, our organization has had to organize periodical discourses (not of spiritual nature) on the Sindhi language, art and culture alongwith the problems of Sindhi Community and its solutions. Secondly, the various conferences of various layers of Sindhi Community are to be periodically organized. Thirdly, the photo exhibitions, Sindhi Lok-Geet, Lok-Sangeet, Lok-Nritya and Stage performances are to be undertaken.
Our organizations now has 90 branches in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka where Sindhi Teaching Crash Course Classes are conducted. Sindhi youngsters join all the above culture as well as language teaching centres where they are properly motivated at their places with the full support of their parents. We are conducting the classes in places where even 50-100 Sindhi families live. We are trying to integrate our community, scattered over 2500 towns, cities and villages from Assam to Gujarat and from Delhi to Chennai.
The Govt. Agencies such as NCPSL or other universities may provide the opportunities for teaching Sindhi Language or the schools may provide the same facilities under articles 350-A or the constitution, but the people will not join these centers unless they are motivated. Therefore, the wide-based organization is indispensable to achieve the above objectives. Hence, under our Sindhi Shiksha & Sahitya Sangat Organization, we have established 42 committees alongwith 18 committees of Ladies under the banner of Sindhi Sanskritik Sakhi Sangat in various cities of Maharashtra.
We should set it into our mind very vividly and elucidately that by organizing one or two conference or Seminars every year or so is not enough. Or one should feel that one has finished the job in this year-No! This is the MOVEMENT which needs vast resources with proper perception.
In order to motivate Sindhi youth we took an opportunity at Mahila Conference at Prabhani to form Sindhi Youth Sangat also. This forum will inspire them besides teaching them Sindhi language to pursue their studies for I.A.S., I.P.S & I.R.S. exams. Our forum will also organize the periodical seminars for our Sindhi youth where they will be introduced to the global advanced technology and scientific commercialized inventions in various fields so that our Sindhi youth should be well-versed in this sphere.