Monday, 31 October 2005

Tour Report of Sindhis of Madhya Pradesh (Oct-Nov 2005)


Published (1) partly in “Sindhiyat”, Jan-2006 (2) “Hindu” (Sindhi) Dec-12-2005, Dec-26-2005 (3) “Sujag Sindhi" (Dev), Jan-23-2006 and Feb-20-2006

(Mohan G. Rohira - Advocate)

I got a golden opportunity to meet important Sindhis living in some cities of M.P. during the recent Diwali Vacation in 2005. They were good enough to arrange long meetings of Sindhis at a short notice on my request for promoting our ancient culture, language & sanskriti as well as for cementing bonds of brotherhood in our community. The love & affection extended by them cannot be described. The taste of pudding is in its eating. The report in a nutshell is as under:-

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NAGDA (Oct 19, 2005)
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          This city is on W.Rly at a distance of 45 kms. from Ratlam.Its population is 1 lakh which includes 55 Sindhi families. They have one Puj Sindhi Panchayat whose President is Shri Bhojraj Daswani and Vice President is Shri Bhagwandas Lilani and a dedicated Social Worker is Shri Vasudev Chandnani on whose noble efforts a big meeting could take place at a short notice of a few hours. The city has one marvelous Jhulelal Sindhi Dharmashala & a temple at Jawahar Marg which was built recently with a sizeable contribution from a Philanthropist lady of Khar (Mumbai) i.e. Smt. Dhanwanti Devi Amarvani, not only for happy & unhappy occasions but also for lodging, which has enhanced the prestige of these few Sindhi families.

They always meet on happy & unhappy occasions such as marriage & death ceremonies. At least 80% of them speak in their mother tongue Sindhi at home and among themselves. So long as Sindhi is spoken even in small towns in this way, there is no damage to our ancient rich language and culture of Mohen Jo Daro. Of course there is no Sindhi school or Sindhi class. They are mainly in business and they are well off on the whole. They celebrate Chetichand as Sindhiyat day by closing shops, by taking out a big procession and by arranging Priti Bhojan for all. They have made a Sindhi Telephone Directory and plan to make a big Telephone Directory. They are united and have cordial relations with local people. They promised to keep a laminated Murti of Jhulelal on each & every Sindhi Shop on the lines of Bangalore Sindhi Samaj. There is a Sindhi press reporter and the President of Lions Club of Nagda is also a famous Sindhi Dr. S. R. Chawla. The places worth seeing are Greeson factories and a famous Birla Mandir.

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UJJAIN (Oct 20, 2005)
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          The population of this prestigious ancient city (Avantika Nagri) is 8 lakhs including 25,000 Sindhis. They have 19 Sindhi Associations, each of them having contributed a lot in their respective fields. The main organization among them are Sindhu Jagrat Samaj (President, Shri Arjan Khatri), Sindhu Seva Ujjaini (President, Shri Tulsidas Dhanwani and Founder President,  Shri Tirathdas Ramlani), Madhavnagar Sindhi Panchayat (President Shri Tulsidas Dhanwani), Lai Lohana Panchayat (President Shri Mohandas Vaswani), Puj Sindhi Sukkur Panchayat (President, Shri Murlidhar Kataria), & Sindhi Cloth Merchants Association (President, Shri Vasu Khatri). Each of these Associations have published a separate Sindhi Directory. They have built famous temples such as Alakh Dham in Free Ganj whose Mahant is Swami Atamdas who is widely honoured by all of them.  Other temples (Jhulelal Mandirs) are in Gordhandham Nagar & Satram Sindhi Colony. Recently, they have started Swami Shanti Prakash Ashram in Sindhi Colony from 9.6.2013. There are 2 Sindhi Dharamshalas for happy & unhappy occasions with Lodging arrangement also - Shri Nenumal Gagandas Jethwani Dharamshala (Opp. Alakh Dham in Free Ganj) and Sindhi Hindu Dharamshala in Satram Sindhi Colony. Besides these, there are 3 other Sindhi Public places for happy and unhappy occasions and meetings such as Jacobabad Sindhi Dharamshala & Puj Sindhi Sukkur Panchayat Dharamshala (both at Boxipura) and Dhanwani Community Hall in Saket Nagar. They normally don't speak in Sindhi but they have assured that they will put their best efforts to speak in their mother tongue Sindhi. Though they have one school managed by them, unfortunately it does not have any Sindhi subject for which they were persuaded to keep Sindhi at least as one of the subjects. However, one Sindhi luminary Shri Chimanlal Lakhani takes Sindhi classes on every Sunday for 2 hours. The other famous Sindhi social and political worker is Shri Shiva Kotwani who has remained as MLA for a long time. Though they have no Sindhi Central Panchayat, Sindhu Jagrat Samaj arranges Chetichand Mela in co­ordination with other Sindhi Associations, on a grand scale, such as with long procession, Jhankies, Bhandara and musical parties. The other melas are Parbrahma (Chhadi) 'Sinhastha' and Kavi Kalidas Samaroha etc. They have given many valuable suggestions such as constitution of a Sindhi All India Co-ordinating Body for getting our Legitimate Rights from the Govt., starting Sindhi T.V. Channel etc. They have also agreed to keep a laminated Murti of Jhulelal at each & every Sindhi shop / office. At least 95% of them are in business and are well off financially on the whole. The tourism Deptt. at Bus Stand, (near Rly. Station) arranges daily Luxury Bus Service 'Ujjain Darshan' for 4 hours showing all the important Tourist & pilgrimage places such as Mahakaleshwar Jyotirling, Har Sindhi Mandir, Raja Bharthari Gufa etc.

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DEWAS (Oct 22, 2005)
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          This city of 3 lakhs strength is near Ujjain. Though there are only 700 Sindhi families, they shine in every field. They have 5 Big Associations such as (i) Puj Sindh Hindu Panchayat, Dayanand Chowk (President Shri Parmanand Raichandani, Secretary Shri Srichand Manwani), (ii) Sindhi Mahila Mandal (President, Smt. Kantadevi Punjabi), (iii) Sindhi Yuva Sangathan (President, Shri Anil Talreja), (iv) Sindhu Seva Samiti (President, Shri Anandram Khattar), (v) Shri Guru Nanak Graha Nirman Sahakari Sanstha (President, Shri Sureshkumar Manwani). Each Association is working efficiently in its respective field in which ladies & youth are not lagging behind. They have built 2 big Dharamshalas for lodging as well as for happy & unhappy occasions - Sindh Hindu Panchayat Bhawan at Dayanand Chowk & Sindhu Bhawan Trust (with a huge garden), at Ujjain Road. The temples here are par excellence such as (1) Sindhi Gurudwara at Mohan Dham, Jai Prakash Marg, (ii) Swami Parmanand Bhandar at Alankar Market, (iii) Shri Anandpur Trust at Peetha Road, (iv) Sant Asudaram Seva Samiti at Vasudev Pura. On an average, 50% of them speak in Sindhi. Almost all of them are in business and are well off financially. There is no trace of Sindhi school or classes. However they have surpassed other cities in celebrating Melas particularly 'Chetichand Mela' so much so that our heart is dancing to participate in it even at the cost of Mumbai Chetichand Mela! On such an auspicious day they close their shops, take out a huge procession with 'Jhankies' and 2 'Langars' (one for them & one for poor people) and arrange Cultural Programme for 5 continuous days. The famous Mumbai Builder & Sindhi Social Worker Narsingh Golani's name was respectfully taken by them. They also celebrate Diwali Milan, Devi Mata's 'Jagran' and 'Visarjan' (in which they are second to Calcutta City only). 2 Press reporters Shri Ramesh Talreja & Shri Khubchand Manwani stay here. One Hindi 'Namcheen' weekly Newspaper is published from here with a Sindhi Column. They have published a useful Sindhi Directory which is worthy of seeing by every Sindhi. They have also got arrangement of Ambulance Service. They strongly desire that an all India Sindhi Coordinating Body should be formed at the earliest, Sindhi programmes should be telecast on T.V. & viewed on Radio, particularly when they are not arranged in M.P. The places worth seeing are 2 famous temples of Mata Tulja Bhawani Devi & Mata Chamunda Devi on a hill nearby which are venerated by one and all which no visitor to the city can afford to miss.

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MHOW (Oct 25, 2005)
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This city of 1 1/2 Lakh strength is hardly at a distance of 20 kms from Indore. 115 Sindhi families stay here, most of them at M.G. Road, near Rly. Station, having their shops nearby. They have one Puj Sindhi Panchayat whose President is a famous Advocate Miss Geeta Lakhwani & Vice President is Shri Pupchand Savlani.  Apart from these, one more dedicated worker & Treasurer is Shri Nanikram Makrani. The Mahila Samaj of this city is very active so much so that the President of Puj Sindhi Samaj is a dedicated iady and the attendance of ladies was more than Gents in the meeting. They have one Sindhi Dharamshala with Jhulelal Temple at Plouton Road meant only for happy & unhappy occasions, hence they were advised to make it fit for lodging also so that any Sindhi visitor could stay in the Sindhi atmosphere without wasting money on Hotels. Apart from not having Sindhi school, they mainly speak in Hindi. However they have assured me to speak in Sindhi in future, at home & among themselves for preserving our ancient rich language & culture. They are mainly (say 90%) in business and are quite well off financially on the whole. They are not lagging behind from other cities in celebrating annual melas, particularly Chetichand. On this auspicious Sindhiyat day, they close down their shops, keep path Sahib of Sri Guru Granth Sahib for 3 days, take out procession in the city with Jhankis and arrange 'Langar' for all Sindhis. They arrange entertainment programme for children along with 'Priti Bhojan' in the function of Devi Mataji. These activities Serve as moral boost among the community, particularly youngsters. They have made a Sindhi Telephone directory and have planned to have a marvelous Sindhi Directory along with other social activities in the near future. They also agreed to keep a Jhulelal Murti on every Sindhi Shop on the lines of Bangalore Sindhi Samaj. The city has a big Military Camp & School as well as many famous temples, i.e. Swarga Mandir, Gurudwara, etc and a sufficient number of various factories.


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KHANDWA (Oct 27, 2005)
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          This city stands on the C.RIy. Junction Station. It has population of 3 lakhs which includes 975 Sindhi families, out of which 750 families stay in Sindhi Colony and remaining 225 families stay in Padam Nagar. There are 3 main Sindhi Associations such as (i) Pujya Sindhi Panchayat, Sindhi Colony (President, Shri Bhagwandas Artani, Secretary, Shri Mohanlal Diwan & 'Sanrakshak', Shri Gehiram Sitlani), (ii) Jhulelal Navyuvak Mandal, Sindhi Colony (President, Shri Udhavdas Udasi & Secretary, Shri Radhakishan Udasi), (iii) Sindhi Panchayat, Padam Nagar (President, Shri Shankarlal Tirthani & Secretary, Shri Bhagwandas Ahuja). Sindhi Colony residents have 2 Sindhi Dharamshalas for happy & unhappy occasions - Shewa Mandli and Jhulelal Sindhi Dharamshala, as well as Baba Tirathdham & Balakdham Gurudwaras, Shivdham & Swami Shanti Prakash Temples. Padam Nagar residents also have constructed a new Temple which is going to be inaugurated on Makar Sankranti day of January 2006. Sindhi is mainly spoken in Sindhi Colony where as Padam Nagar Sindhi residents (hardly 4 kilometers away) mainly speak in Hindi. The city has one school managed by Sindhis but unfortunately Sindhi is not taught there even as one of the subjects. They are mainly in business and are primarily in middle class financially. However Padam Nagar Sindhi residents are better off financially. They celebrate Chetichand as Sindhiyat day and take out procession in city along with Baharana Sahib & close down their shops. Dasera is celebrated through Daserra Utsava Samiti by burning the effigy of Ravana. Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated through Tirathdham Gurudwara. Sindhu Seva Samiti (President, Shri Maniklal Lalwani & Secretary, Shri Dilip Ahuja) manage school upto 8th standard as well as Nari Shalla. In all 35 members attended the meeting. They also agreed to keep a Jhulelal Murti in every Sindhi Shop in the near future. They gave many valuable suggestions such as creating dedicated & selfless Sindhi leaders, establishing an All India Sindhi Coordinating Body as well as Sindhi T.V. Channel, arranging Community marriages, taking active part in politics etc. The places worth seeing are Nagachun Talao & temples of Nav Chandi Devi Dham, Laxrni Narayan, Bhawani Mata, Rameshwar & Sai Baba. Here also Shri Narsingh Golani has done some creditable work in social field.

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