Friday, 1 August 2008

Tour report of Sindhis of some cities in M.P. (Aug 2008)

Tour report of Sindhis of some cities in M.P. (Aug 2008)

Published in (1) “Suhaag Sindhi” weekly, dt. Sep 22, 2008 (2) Hindvasi Sindhi weekly, dt. Oct 26, 2008

Mohan G. Rohira
(Advocate)

Recently I got the golden opportunity to meet Important Sindhis living in some cities of M.P. They were good enough to arrange long meetings of Sindhis at short notice on my request for promoting our ancient culture, language and Sanskriti as well as for getting legitimate political rights from the Central Govt, and for boosting the morale of community. Most of these reports have already been published in these columns. The reports of remaining cities are shown in a nutshell as under :

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DABRA (Aug 1, 2008)
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This small town with a total population of 1 lakh is situated in Gwalior Distt. The total strength of Sindhis is 500 families. Shri Tikamdas Santwani is President, and Shri Satypal Davani is Secretary of Puj Sindhi Panchayat, Dabra . They have 2 Sindhi Darbars, namely Sant Bhagatram Darbar & Seth Ladharam Darbar wherein arrangement for marriages etc. is made with a total strength of 500 and 1000 respectively. These darbars also provide facilities and lodging. They have 4 sindhi temples. The Sindhis here are mostly in one or other business and nearly 90% of them speak in Sindhi with children at home and among themselves. The city has Sant Kanwarram Mahavidyalaya and a Higher Secondary School under Management of Sindhis but alas! Sindhi language is not taught there even as one of the subjects. Hence they were persuaded to start Sindhi subject in future. They celebrate important annual festivals such as Chetichand, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Sant Godriwala & Swami Teoonram Jayanti.They take out procession in the city on the auspicious occasion of Chetichand and they close their shops & schools on that day. This day is also declared as a public holiday in whole M.P state. Let us hope that our community will succeed in persuading central Govt. to make this day a National Holiday in whole country under the Negotiable Instruments Act. Shri. Dwarkadas Hakvani is Press Reporter. They have published a beautiful Directory of Sindhis of the city. They are united and mix with themselves on happy & unhappy occasions. Their relation with local masses are very cordial. This Sindhi Panchayat is engaged in many social activities such as helping in marriages of poor girls & widows, giving free medicines to needy persons, serving drinking water to thirsty passengers throughout the day and the year at railway station and also helping sindhi needy passengers. In case of marriages of girls coming from other cities, the total expenses of marriage are fully met by boy's side only which is rare in our community. Sindhis of other cities can learn a good lesson from this custom. They suggested that Sindhi Community should unite and forget all their differences & should do selfless social service.

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SAGAR (Aug 4, 2008)
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          This famous city with a total strength of 5 lakhs is situated on Bina-Katni section of central Railway. From the Sindhi population point of view, it can be divided into 2 bastis (Areas) - Subhash Nagar and Civil Lines. Nearly 10,000 Sindhis stay in Subhashnagar and 2000 in Civil Lines. Nearly 98% Sindhis are in business & practically all (nearly 99% of them) converse in Sindhi language among themselves & at homes which is a satisfying trend but sorry to say that, though they have one school upto VIII Standard under their control, even Sindhi is not taught there as one of the subjects, for which they were persuaded to start the same.

The President & Secretary of Sindhi Panchayat respectively are Shri Tekchand Lahirwani & Shri Mohanlal Sonia, whereas the President & Secretary respectively of Sri Guru Nanak Trust (in Civil Lines Basti) are Shri Lakhanlal Bajaj & Shri Prataprai Phulwani. There is also one Hari Madhav Samiti in this city. All these social organizations are doing marvellous social activities (as in case of Dabra city mentioned earlier) i.e. giving free tuition and dresses to poor students, helping in marriage of poor girls & widows, arranging free medical camps, arranging drinking water for thirsty passengers at Sagar Rly. Station during summer season & helping needy Sindhi passengers etc. Like Dabra City, here also all marriage expenses are   met by boy’s side in case of girls coming from other cities. The important annual festivals of Sindhis here are Chetichand, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Sai Milanram's Varsi, Jhulelal Chalisa, Guru Punam, Navratra etc. A Priti Bhojan and procession with "Jhankis" is arranged by them on the noble occasion of Chetichand. They have 4 Sindhi Dharamshalas, namely Geeta Bhawan with hospital, Sai Milanram Sindhi Darbar, Jhulelal Sindhi Dharamsala (all in Subhasnagar Basti) and above mentioned fourth Sri Guru Nanak  Trust and Dharamshala (in Civil Lines Basti). While passing through Subhashnagar Basti, one feels like passing through mini Sindh! They suggested that all important Sindhi Associations throughout India, inspite of having different political affiliations, should unite under one banner in the interest of real progress of our community with tangible results for getting legitimate rights of Sindhis from the Govt. The places worth seeing are Garapra Hanuman Mandir, Rajghat Dam, Lakha Talao & Sagar University etc.

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VIDISHA (Aug 5, 2008)
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          This tiny  town of 1 lakh population is situated on Central Rly. near Bhopal.  The Sindhis Strength is 400. The President of Puj Sindhi Panchayat is Shri Radha Kishin Motwani & Secretary is Shri. Harish Wadhwani. Sant Hirdaram Sindhu Seva Trust & Sai Jhulelal Mandir (President, Shri Gurmukhdas Chhugani & Secretary Shri Suresh Motiani) are situated in Dandapura Sindhu Colony. Moreover, Sindhi Dharamshala and Gurudwara are situated in Bajaria area. Nearly 97% of them are in business. However as compared to above 2 cities, they are lagging behind in using Sindhi Language (i.e. nearly 50%). Hence the importance of speaking in Sindhi was emphasized. However in celebrating annual festivals, they are no less than above cities such as Sri Guru Nanak  Jayanti and mainly Chetichand wherein they arrange "Bhandara" (Joint meals) and take out a big procession in the streets inspite of being less in number in the city. They also close down their business establishments on this auspicious occasion. They have produced a beautiful Sindhi Directory of the city. Many of them in the Panchayat are dedicated workers and do yeoman Social activities such as helping financially in the marriages of poor girls and widows, arranging Netra Shibirs (Eye camps) twice a year irrespective of  community, arranging Marriage Bureau (I/C Shri kishinchand Gurdasani), helping needy Sindhis even at Rly. Station etc. They are united & often meet together on happy and unhappy occasions and keep cordial relations with local people. The places worth visiting around the city are famous Sanchi Stupa, Udaigiri, Sidheswari Durga Mandir, Ranch Mandir, Shivalaya and Durga Mata Mandir, etc..


Thus on the whole, it would be seen that Sindhis are having blessings of Sri Laxmi Mata. However they don't take interest in Political field or in running Sindhi schools, (which I emphasized in the meetings). However they have been more or less preserving our rich language of Mohen -Jo-Daro days by conversing in Sindhi. Furthermore for keeping their identity, most of them are keeping Murtis of Sai Jhulelal in their homes or shops / offices (as in case of Bangalore city arranged by Bangalore Sindhi Samaj), which is a satisfying factor.

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