TOUR REPORT OF SINDHIS STAYING IN PUNJAB
AMRITSAR: (April 2001)
JALLANDHAR (May 2012)
This famous city of Punjab has population of 10 lakhs. However it was seen for the first time in Indian cities that only 2 Sindhi families stay here ! Previously there were 10 Sindhi families here but due to presence of terrorists in Punjab some years back and due to financial circumstances, other Sindhi families have migrated from here. These 2 families have cultural relations with Sindhis of nearby Amritsar city where they normally go for celebrating annual functions like Chetichand etc. Hence they do not have any Sindhi Panchayat, Dharamshalla or temple etc. in this city. They are in the business of Shoes and Garments and are financially well off. They normally speak in Punjabi and Hindi but understand Sindhi Language. Literature regarding Sindhyat was given to them and they assured that they will keep the Spirit of Sindhyat alive like Sindhis of Amritsar city (whose description has already been published in these columns) i.e. they will try to speak in Sindhi keep Murties of Jhulelal Sai in their shops and view Sindhi programmes on T.V. etc.
Here wonderland waterfalls is a tourist attraction where they go for whole day picnic. Niko Park in famous Model Town area is another attraction particularly for children where they have variety of items for entertainment which are not found even in big Metropolis like Mumbai ! Baba Sodal Mandir is also very famous . However last but not the least “Devi Talab” Temple near Jallandhar city Railway Station has surpassed all other attractions, wherein Goddess Devi’s beautiful temple is built in the middle of a big pond which resembles golden temple and Durgiyana temple of Amritsar. 5000 pilgrims can stay here at a time with reasonable rates. Bhandara (Langar) is also served here throughout the day free of charge. This is a must see place for every body.
LUDHIANA (Punjab) (Sep 2012)
This famous business and industrial city of Punjab consists of 45 lakh population which includes only 70 Sindhi families, who are mainly engaged in business and small scale industries - such as sewing machine parts, bicycle parts, yarn, hosiery, biscuits, etc. They are financially well off. Atleast 50% of them speak in Sindhi along with their families and among one other and the remaining speak in Punjabi. They have celebrated Chetichand Mela once only so far and some of them keep the Murtis of Jhulelal in their shops / offices. They have formed one “Sindhi Samaj Samiti” whose President is Shri Shravan Kumar Bhatia and Secretary is Shri Tulsidas Bhatia. They have not built any Sindhi Dharamshalla or Temple so far though they are longing for the same and for upliftment of the community. However they are doing some social work in this direction for which they were encouraged in the meeting wherein 8 persons were present. They have prepared the lists of all family members along with their addresses so that they can interact among one and other during happy and unhappy occasions. They are intending to prepare Directory for Sindhis of their city in near future. Here, the worth seeing tourist places, are Dukh Nivaran Sahib Gurudwara, Alamgiri Sahib Gurudwara, Durgamata temple and Rose Garden.
Ajmer: (Jul-Aug 1998)
Jaipur: (Jul-Aug 1998)
Alwar: (Jul-Aug 1998)
Abu Road (Raj): (July 2000)
See Joint Report/Article 3
Bhilwara (Raj.) – (Dec 2002)
Chitaurgadh(Raj.) – (Dec 2002)
Nimbahera (Raj.): – (Dec 2002)
See Joint Report/Article 5
Tour report of Sindhis of Mt. Abu (2009)
Recently I got the Golden opportunity to attend media Conference arranged by Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya at Abu Road. On this noble occasion I met the Important Sindhis of Abu Road and Mt. Abu who were good enough to arrange long meetings at a short notice on my request for promoting our ancient culture, language and Sanskriti as well as for getting Legitimate rights from the Central Govt, and for boosting morale of the Community. The report of Abu Road has already been published in these columns. The report of Mt. Abu in a nut shell is shown as under :-
This tiny ancient town with a total strength of 20,000 is situated at a very famous Hill station, only 8 kms away from Abu Road Rly station. Only 40 Sindhi families stay here who have a Puj Sindhi Panchayat whose President is Shri Mukesh Lalwani (owner of famous Bhanjara Hotel) and Secretary is Shri Suresh Sajnani (owner of Shri Krishna Store). Nearly 60% of them speak in mother tongue among themselves and at home, all of them were persuaded to speak in Sindhi. Practically all of them are doing business activities. It is a matter of pride that all the 15 famous Hotels of this Hill station are owned and managed by Sindhis. Hence Sindhis command a good respect in the town. They are united among themselves and they love their community so much so that Shri Mukesh Lalwani arranged an urgent meeting within half an hour in his hotel on my request wherein most of the Sindhi Hoteliers arrived in time. They expressed their strong feelings in the meeting, as to what crime is committed by Sindhis for which no separate Sindhi T.V. Channel is allotted to them by Central Govt, particularly when every language has been allotted a separate T.V. Channel. However, they were assured that some thing concrete would come out shortly as efforts are going on in this connection. They often meet among themselves on happy and unhappy occasions. They have built a Jhulelal Temple. They arrange Baharana Sahib, take out procession and take Priti Bhojan together on the Important annual festival of Chetichand. They also celebrate Guru Nanak Jayanti with flying colours. Being nearby, they have good relations with 300 Sindhi Families of Abu Road.
This ancient & famous Hill station with an excellent climate has a good number of interesting places worth seeing such as very ancient and world famous Dilwara Temples, Naki Lake, Achalgarh Temple & Fort. It is also the Headquarter of Brahmakumaris (founded by Dada Lekhraj of Sindh), wherein one can not afford to miss particularly Pandav Bhavan, Gyan Sarovar and Om Shanti Van (GARDEN) which create a conducive atmosphere in getting inner peace of mind.
MOHAN G. ROHIRA
MOHAN G. ROHIRA
Tour Report of Sindhis
in some cities in Rajasthan (Oct 2010)
(Mohan G. Rohira Tel No : 9321448147)
Published in “Sindhiyat” dated 15.01.2011 and in Sindhi and Devanagari newspapers
I got the best opportunity to meet important Sindhis living in the following cities. On my request Shri Mohan Keswani, national President of Akhil Bharatiya Sindhu Sena, and Shri Amar Gurbani, Editor, "Sindhu Disha Darpan" Sindhi Fortnightly joined me in this tour after driving car for 200 K.m from Jaipur. On our request, the important Sindhis of these cities arranged long meetings at a short notice for cementing the bonds of unity in the community irrespective of their political affiliations, preserving our rich and ancient culture, language and Sanskriti, boosting the morale of Sindhi Community, as well as for seeking our long awaited legitimate rights from the central Govt. Suggestions and information were exchanged frankly and listened to each others lectures patiently in these meetings. Moreover Sindhi, National and spiritual literature was distributed. There was good enthusiasm and a red carpet hospitality was extended to us, too much to be described here. The taste of pudding is in its eating.
1. Gangapur City (Rajasthan) : This city of a 1.75 lakh population is at a distance of 65 Km from Sawai Madhopur on the Western Rly. Only 120 families of Sindhis stay here. They have a Pujya Sindhi Panchayat in Sindhi Colony, whose President is Shri Gangaram Vaswani & Secretary is Shri Gulabchand Ladhani. They have their own Shri Jhulelal Dharamshala in Sindhi Colony for social activities & marriage etc. purposes (wherein 55 Sindhis attended our meeting on 14-10-2010 which continued till late night with much interest and enthusiasm & their telephone nos. were also noted). They have Shri Jhulelal temple and Sai Pursanaram Temple near this Dharamshala. About 70% of these Sindhis speak in their mother tongue. Hardly 2-3 of them know Sindhi Script. They are mainly in business. On the annual Auspicious occasions of Chetichand and Sai Pursanaram Jayanti, they eat together, throughout the day, take out procession & Doli and close their shops after 2 Pm. They were persuaded to close the shops for the whole day in future. They have cordial relations with local people and most of them belong to middle class families. They do some social activities through their Panchayat such as donating 5100/- on the occasion of a needy bride’s marriage, donating 300/- pm to needy widows, distributing Blankets etc. on Makar Sankranti (Tramuri) day etc. They also keep Murtis of Shri Jhulelal mostly in their shops.
2. Sawai Madhopur (Raiasthan) : This city is a famous Rly. Junction on Western Rly. near Jaipur. Its population is one & a half lakh which includes 227 Sindhi families (1440 persons). This city is divided in 3 Bastis ( areas). Each basti has a Sindhi Panchayat such as 1) Puj Sindhi Samaj Samiti Housing Board Basti ( 67 Sindhi Families). Its President is Shri Lachhmandas Lalwani & Vice President is Shri Purshottamdas Lalwani 2) Sindhi Panchayat "Shahar" (80 Sindhi Families). Its President is Shri Rameshchand Harvani & “Sanrakshak" is Shri Chellaram Manghnani 3) Sindhi Samaj Samiti "Bajaria" (80 Sindhi families) (President, Shri Ramchand Kripalani & Secretary Shri Ramesh Peswani) .
The Sindhis of these 3 bastis have close co-ordination among themselves . Out of these Sindhis , 30% are crorepatis, 50% are lakhpaties and remaining 20% are hand to mouth. About 70% of them speak in the mother tongue. The knowers of Sindhi Script could be hardly 4 or 5 persons which couid easily be counted on fingers. 10 to 12 persons are in service. The remaining families are in business. They celebrate annual festivals on a grand scale, they take out processions in the city on the noble occasions of Chetichand, "Asu Chand" & Maha Shivratri and arrange common Priti Bhojan on Chetichand day and also close their shops for the whole day. They have a Char Dham Mandir, Satsang Hall and a big Dharamshala in abovementioned Housing Board Basti for social & for marriage etc. purposes, wherein our meeting took place on the late night of 13-10-2010 from 10 pm to 12 midnight wherein 29 persons participated who discussed with interest on important matters concerning the Community. Their telephone Nos. were also noted . They also have another sindhi Dharamshaia with a temple in Shahar Basti. The murties of Sri Jhulelal are mostly kept by every Sindhi family in this city. It was emphasized in the meeting to keep such Murties at their premises by all and speak in Sindhi compulsorily among themselves particularly with children for keeping Sindhi identity. All the three panchayats meet among themselves after every 3 months. They were requested to make a Strong Central Sindhi Panchayat also for the city. These Panchayats do a lot of social work such as organizing annual festivals, helping needy Sindhi families etc. The places worth seeing are Shri Ganeshji's temple, Ranthambore National Park, Ancient Shiva Temple (of Mohammad Gaznavi's days), Choth Mata Temple, etc.
3. Bhavani Mandi (Rajashtan) : This tiny town of 80000 strength is situated between Kota Junction & Shamgarh on the Western Railway. 125 Sindhi families reside here. Out of these, 75 families stay in Sindhi Colony. They have two associations namely 1) Puj Sindhi Panchayat whose President is Shri Devki Khatri , Vice President, Shri Nandkishore Narsinghani and Secretary Shri Bansilal Amarvani. They have 2nd famous Association in the name of "Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha" whose President is Shri Nandlal Ahuja and Distt. Secretary is above named Shri Bansilal Amarvani. He is also "Nagar Karyavah" of RSS. The Sabha has got 25 members in the city. Both Associations work in Co-ordination with each other particularly due to the same person being Secretary in both Associations. These Associations do a lot of Social Work in their respective fields. The city has 2 Sindhi Dharmashalas , namely l) Swami Lilashah, where I stayed & 2) BMB Sindhi Dharamshala. Moreover the Sindhis have 3 temples here 1) Shri Krishin Jhulelal Mandir in Vijayraje Sindhi Market, 2) Swami Teoonram Darbar in Sindhi Colony 3) Shri Anandpur Darbar . Here, Sindhis normally speak in Hindi among themselves & at home hence emphasis was made in the meeting to speak in Sindhi. Not a Single person could be found in the city who knew the Sindhi Script. Hence nobody could take my Sindhi Literature and I had to carry it back to Mumbai ! Barring 2-3 persons all Sindhis here are engaged in business. They take out procession in the cityon Chetichand day, take food together and close their shops for the whole day. They distribute Prasad in the city on Mahashivratri day. They also take out "Jhankies" on Shrikrishan Janmashtami day and distribute Prasad. Out of 125 families, 85 families have kept the Murtis of Sri Jhulelal at their shops/ homes . The important places worth seeing in the city's suburbs are Bhanupura Falls (14 Km), Misholi Annapurna Mata Mandir (16 Km), Chandra Bhaga river (45 Km). Swami Teunram's festival takes place at this river every year. The Sindhis of these small towns are very hospitable and are eager to meet Sindhis of other places, whosoever comes to meet them.
Tour Report of Sindhis Staying in 8 Cities / Towns of West Rajasthan
(Mohan G. Rohira, Advocate – Mob: 9321448147)
It was learnt from Govt. and private sources that people staying in Rajasthan-Sindh border areas are normally speaking in Sindhi or its dialects even in present times. Hence just to confirm this fact and to study and survey the real situation on ground level, (so that such favourable situation could be utilized for betterment of Sindhi Community in future in the long run), I got the golden opportunity to go to following 8 cities / towns of West Rajasthan during the pious days of Sindhi and Hindu New Year of Chetichand (2014). Pre-arranged Meetings were held for 2:3 hours in each place on my request with the office bearers of Sindhi Associations (particularly Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha) wherein various matters were discussed regarding unity, Sanskar and social service in the Community for its betterment and to claim legitimate rights from Central Govt. after forming a co-ordinating body or Mahasangh. Suggestions & informations were collected, Sindhi & national literature was distributed. There was good enthusiasm (even more than that in earlier meetings), a great love & affection and a good hospitality was extended to me everywhere which can not be described in words. The names of attendees and their mobile numbers were noted in all meetings. One particular point which was noticed everywhere, was that the Murtis of Bhagwan Jhulelal, are normally kept in particularly all Sindhis’ shops / offices or homes for keeping Sindhi identity. However wherever these murtis were in short quantity, they promised to keep the same in near future. On the whole Sindhis are generally well off financially at most of the places. Further report of each city / town in a nutshell is as under:-
Bikaner: (Mar-Apr 2014)
The total population of this ancient Kingly City is near about 6½ lakhs, which includes 1000 Sindhi families (nearly 7000 persons). Most of Sindhi families stay in Pawanpuri (446), Rath Khana (132), Dhobi Talai (49), J. N. Vyas Colony (64), Muktaprasad Colony (55), Ganga Shaher (21), and remaining families stay in other areas. They are mainly (90%) engaged in business particularly in Readymade cloth, hosiery, shoes, etc. They have good relations with local masses & command a good image in the city. They celebrate 4 annual functions, namely Chetichand, Asu month’s moon, Chaliha Sahib and Sant Kanwar Ram’s Varsi. They arrange rally in the city with Jhankies, Priti Bhojan and “Sindhi Bhagat.” Sant Kanwar Ram Sindhi Samaj Trust Dharamshalla Mandir (Dhobi Talai) arrange Priti Bhojan on the occasion of Sant Kanwar Ram’s Varsi. In addition to aforesaid temple, the other temples are Shri Amarlal Mandir Trust & Sant Kanwar Ram Seva Samiti Mandir (Both in Rath Khana). Here the Sindhis have numerous Sindhi Associations which do a lot of Social Work in their respective fields and celebrate annual functions with co-operation of one an other. The main among them are (1) Sindhi Central Panchayat Sanstha (President – Shri Kishinchand Satyani, Vice President Shri Lalchand Tulsiani), (2) Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha (P-Shri Shyamsunder Ahuja), (3) Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha Yuva Morcha, Pavanpuri (P-Shri Tikam Parwani), (4) Matra Shakti Satsang Mandli, Dhobi Talai (P-Smt. Jasoda Ramchandani), (5) Prem Prakash Mandir, Pawanpuri (P-Smt. Veena Badlani), (6) Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha Mahilla Morcha, (P-Smt. Bharati Gulabani), (7) Vishal Sindh Samaj Sanskratik Manch (Secretary – Shri Pawan Devani) etc. etc. Sindhi Central Panchayat Sanstha have prepared a wonderful ‘Sindhi Smarka 2012’.
The chief Virtue of the Sindhis of Bikaner is that they have prepared a huge ‘Rangmanch’ since last 14 years under the direction of Shri Suresh Hindustani wherein so many Arts are created. They have made more than 100 dramas (i.e. Maharaja Dahirsen, Hemu Kalani, Karo Sago, Shahadat, Chief Minister, etc.) which have been shown in more than 40 cities / towns of India and have been suitably rewarded. Similarly the dramas “Sujanapa” and ‘Chikha’, as directed by Shri Nanik Hindustani, have been suitably rewarded. Thus it will not be exaggerating to state that Sindhi Rangmanch of Bikaner has built a separate special identity in the country and Shri Suresh Hindustani has proved to be a famous Director in the country. (He is also a good worker of Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha). The other Sindhi Associations in India get inspiration from this Sindhi Organization. The worth seeing ancient places of Bikaner include Jhunagadh Fort & Museum, Lalgarh Fort & Museum, Karni Mata’s Temple at Deshnok, Naganechi Devi Mandir, Laxminath Mandir, Kodamdesar Mandir & Talao, Kapil Munis Kolayat Mandir & Sarovar etc. The camel ride of Bikaner is also famous. Nearly 50% Sindhis here speak in their mother tongue among themselves & at home. The 16 members were present in the meeting of Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha on 19/03/2014 and 11 members were present in the General Meeting on 20/03/2014.
Jaisalmer: (Mar-Apr 2014)
This ancient gigantic and artistic town derives the population of 1 lakh along with 40 Sindhi families (250 persons). Out of these 30 families stay in Gandhinagar colony. Inspite of being in such a small number, they have created their separate special identity in the town. They are mainly engaged in business of Fruits, General Stores, Kriyana, Vegetables, etc. Nearly 3% of them are in service. They have made one Pujya Jhulelal Sindhi Panchayat whose president is Shri Savaldas Varjani & secretary is Shri Hiralal Sadhwani. The later is also Sanyojak of Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha. The other Association here is “Sindhu Siksha Evam Sanskritik Sansthan”, whose president is above named Shri Savaldas Varjani & Secretary is Shri Asharam Mulchandani. There is also a ladies' Sindhi association, namely "Sindhi Sanskratik Sakhi Sangat", whose president is Smt. Seema Bijlani and secretary is Smt. Mira Hiralal Sadhwani. All these associations along with Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha do some social activities for the Community & celebrate annual functions with one an other’s co-operation. They arrange procession with Jhankies and Priti Bhojan on Chetichand day. They take out ‘Bahrana Sahib’ on every New Moon Day right from the year 1998. They also celebrate Hermu Kalani day (21st January), Sindhu Sumrati Day (14th August) and Swami Teoonram Jayanti every year. Moreover ladies arrange satsang of Sri Jhulelal and Swami Tenuram on every Friday and Saturday respectivley in Jhulelal Mandir, Gandhi Colony. They do not have any Sindhi Dharamshala at present. However, they are aspiring for the same. Accordingly they have purchased a 120 x 180 sq.feet plot of land for that purpose, wherein they expect to make a beautiful Dharamshala with Temple of Jhulelal Sai. It is expected that some Philanthropist Sindhis will also help them financially for its construction. They have full faith in Sai Jhulelal. In the year 2007 there was a famine & no rain in this town and water in Garhisar Sarover was dried up. However surprisingly & suddenly rain water came in Garhisar Sarover on New Moon Day (the day of immersion of Bahrana Sahib) from 40 kms faraway place and thus they were able to immerse Bahrana Sahib in this Sarover on that New Moon Day as usual! They speak mainly (90%) in Sindhi among themselves and at home. There are many important worth seeing tourist places here. Such as Jaisalmer Fort & Museum (which includes many jain & other temples), Folk Lore & Desert Culture Centre Museum & maru Sanskratik Kendra (in/charge N.K. Sharma, email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org) wherein Puppet show is also shown daily on Rajasthani Culture. There is another Museum in its vicinity near Garhisar Sarovar wherein Model of ‘Momal Meri’ (Palace) of ‘Jeejal Sindh’ is kept wherein Kak River used to flow nearby in those days (as per literary creation of Famous Sindhian Shakespeare poet Shah Akdul Latif). ‘Patwa havelis’ of Jaisalmer are very famous throughout the world. Here the foreign tourists prefer camel ride. Many Sindhi tourists go to nearby Sindh Border from here; make camel ride and enjoy Sindhi folk lore & Sindhi Sangit (Sung by Sindhi Muslims who make up & down trips daily from Sindh). Here meeting took place on 22/03/2014 wherein 19 members were present (including 11 ladies).
Barmer: (Mar-Apr 2014)
This town has capacity of 1 lakh people. Like Jaisalmer, this town is also near Sindh border. The railway train going to Sindh, passes from this town and furhter via Gadra Road & Munabao. The number of Sindhis staying here is around 6000. Most of them stay in Nehru Nagar (Sindhi Colony), Mahavir Nagar, Station Para (a Sindhi word still retained), Kalyanpura, Seth Harumal Mohalla, Roy Colony, etc. At least 80% of them normally speak in Sindhi at home & among themselves. Some of them are in lower middle class category. Nearly 2% of them are engaged in service. The remaining are in business of various varieties such as big Hotels, Readymade Cloth, Show Rooms, Kriyana, Stationery, bakery, Vegetables, making military goods (being border area) etc. Hence it can be safely said they have control practically on every business of the town though they are hardly 6% of the total population (i.e. like salt in wheat flour). Since there are mines in the vicinity of this town and being a border area, nearly 400 factories of oil, coal, granite, POP etc., have been established here by big companies. The town has a number of Sindhi Organizations, who do a lot of Social Work in their respective fields and celebrate annual function with co-operation of one an other. The names of such organizations are (1) Pujya Sindhi Panchayat (Central) Barmes (President : Shri Naraindas Rajwani, Secretary, Laxmandas Badlani), (2) Nehru Nagar Sindhi Uppanchayat (P-Sitaldas Jivnani, S-Mirchumal Karipalani), (3) Mahavir Nagar Sindhi Uppanchayat (P-Talloram Menghani, S-Ghanshyamdas Tansukhani), (4) Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha (Pradesh P-Bhagwandas Tharwani, Distt. P.-sonu, Khemani and City P-Raju Shahani), (5) Jhulelal Yuva Seva Samiti (P-Sunil Sev-Kani, Gen. Secretary, Haresh Lalwani), (6) Jhulelal Mahila Seva Samiti (Smt. Nirmala Motiani & others). Many Sindhi Mandirs are found here such as Jhulelal Mandir (Gurudwara Road), Sant Rituram Mandir, Mata Asribai Ramapir Mandir, Mata Dhilibai Mandir, etc. They have made 3 Bhavans, namely (1) Sindhi Panchayat Bhavan at Gurudwara Road, near Rly Station, (2) At Nehru Nagar, Sindhi Colony, (3) At Mahavir Nagar. They celebrate many annual functions such as Jayantis of Guru Nanik, Guru Gobind Singh & Baba Ramapir, Varsis of mata Asribai, Guru Nihalgiri, Sant Reluram and Sant Uderdinomal. They celebrate Chetichand on a grand scale for full one week. In the joint meeting of Pujya Sindhi Panchayat & Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha on 24/03/2014 (wherein 22 members were present including 8 ladies), they distributed the hand bills for Chetichand Mela showing such programme from 28/03/2014 to 02/04/2014 for various activities such as Rangoli Competition (for ladies), fancy dress competition, moving chairs competition (for youngsters), Antakshari. Sindhi Tok Show, Mata Ji Chowki, Kalash Yatra, Cultural programme, Sanman Samaroh, Vahan Rally, Shobha Yatra with Bahrana Sabib, Satsang (By Jhulelal Mandli) Bhajan Sandhya and Bhandara (wherein local people also participate) etc. on different days & places throughout this week. They close the shops for whole day on this auspicious occasion of Chati Chand. They announce this program in Sindhi language on the mike sitting in a taxi in Sindhi localities daily throughout this week. The Sindhis of other cities can get inspiration from such noble programs of Barmer Sindhis. They have cordial relations with local masses. The worth seeing tourist places here, are Shri Jogmata Mandir on the Hill (with 540 steps) along with Naganechi Devi Mandir enroute. The other Mandirs are those of Jains, Shivji, Mataji, Baba Ramdev, Guru Gorakhnath & Mahalgiri Marhi, etc.
Balotra: (Mar-Apr 2014)
This town is between Barmer & Jodhpur on Rly line. Its population is 1 lakh including 170 Sindhi families, who stay in different localities such as Naya Pura, Gandhi Pura, Sabzi Mandi, Sadar Bazar, Kachahari Road, etc. They have many social Associations who do much social work in their respective field & celebrate annual functions with co-operation of one an other. Their names are (1) Sindhi Panchayat Sanstha (Regd.) (President – Gobindran alias Babubhai Ahuja, Secretary – Vasudev Basrani), (2) Sindhi Yuva Shakti (P-Manish Kumar Lalwani, S- Sanjay Ahuja & Pravakta Raja Sangtani), (3) Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha (P-Indir Kumar Basrani, S-Prakash Soni), (4) Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha Mahila Mandal (P-Kanshilya Khyani, S-Kavita Sangtani). They have Seth Shambhumal Sindhi Panchayat Bhawan, Sindhi Dharamshalla & Jhulelal Mandir in Nayapura. They normally (95%) speak in Sindhi among themselves and at home. They are engaged mainly in business such as cloth, vegetables, fruits etc. Nearly 10% of them are in service. The town has 4 Sindhi Doctors (Dr. H. M. Khyani Dr. Hemant Khyani, Dr. Mohanlal Meghnani, Dr. Santosh Singh Shivnani, etc.). They celebrate Asu Month’s New Moon, Hemu Kalani Shahidi day and Chetichand etc. On the auspicious occasion of Chetichand, they close their shops, take out procession in the town & arrange ‘Bhandara’. They suggested that Govt. should be persuaded to make Chetichand as National Holiday. The above named Shri Raja Sangtani regularly sends the social activities of Sindhis of the town to Shri Mukesh Advani of Sindhu Darshan. Here the worth seeing tourist spots are Braham Dham Mandir, Mata Rani Bhagtiani Mandir, Ramchhod Bhagwan’s Khir Mandir and a very famous Shri Nakhoda Jain, Tirathasthan (at Mewanagar) which is at a distance of only 10 km. from the town. The pilgrims & tourists come and stay in this Tirathasthan in thousands throughout the year and can take food together in thousands at a time. Two meetings took place here on same day on 25/03/2014. 13 members were present in Joint General Meeting during the day time & 11 members were present in the joint meeting of Sindhi Yuva Shakti & Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha during the night time.
Jodhpur: (Mar-Apr 2014)
This city is also fondly called as ‘Suryanagiri’. It’s population is 17 lakh including 40 thousand Sindhis. They are settled in many different areas of the city. They have nearly 25 Sindhi Social Associations, all of them can hardly be described here. However some main associations are mentioned here for brevity’s sake.
1) Jodhpur Sindhi Samaj Society (President – Dhirubhai Goswami, Sri Vice President – Harish Devnani, Gen. Secretary – Kanayalal Tewani),
2) Sindhi Cultural Society (P-Mahesh Santani, S-Sushil Manglani),
3) Sindhi Youth Welfare Society (P-Prem Thadani, S-Bhagwan Mulani),
4) Pujya Sindhi Panchayat (P-Indir Tahiliani, S-Ram Tolani),
5) Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha (P-Tirath Dodwani, S-Pradip Gehani),
6) Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha Mahila Samiti (P-Leela Kripalani),
7) Jhulelal Mandir Vikas Society, Sojati Gate (P-Bhagwan Murjani, S-Prem Thadani).
In addition to these associations different localities of city like Chopasini Housing Board, Bhasini Housing Board, Sardarpura, Ratanara, Pratap Nagar, Shaktinagar etc. have their own Sindhi Panchayats. Some more description of above referred (Sr.No.2) Sindhi Cultural Society is worth noting here. Right from the year 1982 this Society has been continuously and vigorously working for the advancement of Sindhi Literature, Language, Art, drama and Culture etc. This Society has played so many dramas on the stage before Public not only in Jodhpur City, but also many other cities in India and thus has made their special identity in the field of drama particularly among Sindhi Community. This Society has also prepared a beautiful “Sindhu Kalash 2008” Smarka (Suvenir) which includes among other things, the details of 300 Sindhis doing service in the city. Today Sindhi culture is alive mainly due to such associations. Likewise, here other Sindhi Associations are also playing their important role in their respective fields & celebrate annual festivals in cooperation with one an other which can hardly be described here for want of space. They take out Rallies in the city and arrange Priti Bhojan on the auspicious occasions of Chetichand, Guru Nanaik Jayanti & Hemu Kalani Shahidi day. They celebrate Chetichand on a grand scale in different localities of the city for full 3 days. In the meeting of all Sindhi Associations dated 27/03/2014 (wherein 78 persons attended including 17 ladies) they distributed the hand bills of Chetichand Mela, showing programme from 01/04/2014 to 03/04/2014 such as Bhandara, Pujya Bahrana Sahib, “Sanman Samaroh”, “Sindhi Bhagat”, Shobha Yatra etc. More over they also celebrate birthdays of Sant Kanwar Ram, Raja Dahirsen and Ramapir.
They have built many Dharamshallas (for marriage purposes) along with Mandirs side by side in different localities. Such as Sindhu Mahal (Chopasini Housing Board), Mata Asribai Dharamshalla, Shri Ramapir Mandir & Motiram Dharamshalla (Sardarpura), Sindhu Bhavan, Dada Laungmal Bherwani Dham & ‘Marhi”, Sindhi Hindu Dharamshalla (Ratanara) Sant Kanwar Ram Dharam Shalla (Pratap Nagar), 4 Jhulelal Mandirs at Sojati Gate, Shaktinagar, Tisari Pulya and Sardarpura, Ishwar Prem Ashram (Suraj Nagar – incharge Nitya Mukta Anitaji), Swami Teoonram Prem Prakash Mandir (Tisari Pulya, Chopasini Housing Board), Jhulelal Mahal, Sant Lila Shah Swargashram (Swanchigate), Sindhi Swargashram, (Housing Board & Kaga), Hemu Kalani Chowk (Sardarpura), Sant Kanwar Ram Murti (Pratapnagar Dharam Shalla). Many Sindhi personalities stay here. For example Shri Jethanand Lalwani (Founder Jhulelal Yuva Mandal, Press Reporter & Dancer), Shri Virumal Hemnani & Shri Ashok Kripalani (Drama Artists), Shri Harish Devnani (Drama Director, Artist, Ex-member, Raj-Sindhi Academy & Raj Sangit Natak Academy, Founder President, Sindhi Cultural Society etc.), Riya Mulchandani (President/Ward-5, B.J.P.), Sunita Jhamnani (Parshad Ward 7), Ganesh Bijani (Opp. Leader, Jodhpur, Muni. Corp. – B.J.P.), etc. Many sindhi journalists stay here and edit Sindhi / Hindi periodicals such as (1) Sindhu Kesari (Editor: Shri Kanayalal Tewani), (2) Jai Amarlal (Editor: Shri Ashok Mulchandani), (3) ‘Mehran’ (Editors: S/Shri Deepak & Rajendra Bherwani), (4) ‘Mir Dayanand Vani’ (Editor: Shri Nandlal Rane). Nearly 40% Sindhis of this city speak in Sindhi among themselves & at home. Most of them are in all business mainly in cloth, vegetables, fruits, stationery, ghee, oil, etc. Being a big city, it has many worth seeing Tourist spots such as Mehrangarh Fort (on a hill but with lift arrangement), Mandore Garden with Fort & Museum, Koyalana Lake, Shastri Palace Balinath & Baba Ramdev Mandir (on Masuria Hill Garden), Ganesh Mandir, Public Park, Zoo, Umed Garden, Shri Pragat Santoshi Mata Dham (Lal Sagar) and abovementioned Sindhi Temples & Tirthasthans, etc.
Pali Marwar: (Mar-Apr 2014)
Nearly 5000 Sindhis (700 families) stay in this town of 1 ½ lakh population. Out of 5000, nearly 2500 Sindhis stay in Sindhi Colony, 1500 in Housing Board & the remaining 1000 stay near railway station & some other places. Nearly 75% of them speak in Sindhi at home & among themselves. Their main business in this business minded town are Kriyana, cloth, vegetables, hotels, etc. Nearly 10% of them are in service. The main Association of this town is Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha which is working for the advancement of Sindhyat, patriotism, religon, service, Sanskar & unity through its team of dedicated & selfless volunteers. The town president of this organization is Shri Jaikishin Ramchandani and Secretary is Shri Khemchand Navani. Further more its Pali Distt. President is Shri Hiralal Lakhwani and Distt. General Secretary is Shri Radhakishin Shivnani. This Sabha has a Yuva Ikai (Unit) in the town whose President is Shri Surendra Nihalani & a Vice President is Shri Jitendra Ramchandani. Both associations do a lot of social work to reach at the above objects in cooperation with each other & also to celebrate annual functions. On Chetichand / New Year day, they close down shops / offices, arrange Priti Bhojan and take out Rally with Jhankus in the town wherein local masses also participate. They also arrange Priti – Bhojan on the auspicious occasions of Sheranwali Mataji day, Asu month’s New moon day and Chaliha Sahib functions. They also take out procession on Ramnavmi day. They also celebrate jayantis of Hemu Kalani, Raja Dehirsen, Sant Kanwar Ram & Sindhi Smriti day on a grand scale. They have cordial relations with local people (particularly due to RSS inclination) and thus they command good respect in the town. In Sindhi Colony, they have Jhulelal and Sant Kanwar Ram Dharam Shallas (for marriage purposes) along with Jhulelal & other temples. They have built Hemu Kalani Statue at Hemu Kalani Circle nearby. Moreover they have built 3 Jhulelal Temples one each at Housing Board, Rly. Station area & P.N.T. Colony. They (Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha) have prepared “Pali Shahar Sindhi Samaj Janaganna Smarka 2008” which gives useful information of the Community. Further more Sindhi language is taught here with financial help of NCPSL wherein 80-90 students pass examination and get certificate every year. Moreover one Sindhi Language subject of 50 marks (optional) is taught in 4 schools of the town to the students of Class IX and X who take this subject instead of Sanskrit Language (optional) subject and for that purpose students are encouraged for which they are praise worthy (since unlike Sindhi Language, Sanskrit is also taught independently by so many independent institutions). Here the worth seeing places are Ganesh Sidhapeetha Naga Baba Mandir (Near Manthan Cinema), Shri Shantinath Jain Mandir, Somnath, Venkatashwar and Raghunath Mandirs, Lakhotia Shiv Mandir along with Lakhotia Garden. 46 members attended the meeting on 29/03/2014.
Marwar Jn.: (Mar-Apr 2014)
The population of this tiny town is only 20,000 and therefore they have only Gram Panchayat. Only 150 Sindhi families stay here. They reside near Rly. Station. They are engaged practically in all businesses as such as Kriyana, Sweets, cloth, mobile phones, hotels, fruits, vegetables, etc. There is only one main Bazar near Rly. Station which is called as “Sindhi Bazar” right from beginning (i.e. 1947). They have also made “Jhulelal Chowk” recently in this Bazar. Mostly all Sindhis have their shops / houses in this Bazar. They are united and mix up among themselves on happy & unhappy occasions and they have prepared a mobile phone directory for this purpose so that they can contact one an other on phone on send SMS. They have one Pujya Sindhi Panchayat whose Mukhi (President) is Shri Rajkumar Goklani, General Secretary is Shri Prakash (Papanbhai) Aswani & Secretary is Shri Keshavdas Manghnani. Moreover they have one Sindhi Navyuvak Mandal having 2 ‘Sanrakshaks’ namely abovenamed Shri Papanbhai Aswani & Shri Ishwarlal Narwani. Both associations work in co-ordination for the welfare of the community and celebrate annual functions namely Chetichand (New Year day) and Guru Nanik Jayanti. They close down their shops, take out Rally with Jhankis in the town and then have Priti Bhojan on both occasions. They have good relations with local masses & command good respect in this small town. They practically all (100%) speak in Sindhi at home and among themselves which is a shining example & a matter of inspiration for Sindhis of other places. They have built a Sindhi Dharamshala in Sindhi Bazar whose renovation and extension work is still in progress. They have also built Jhulelal Mandir (inside this Dharamsala) wherein they have arranged Shri Guru Granth Sahib and Satnam Sakhi Granth Sahib of Prem Prakash Mandal. Being a small town, the worth seeing places are a few mandirs only such as Shri Adinath Jain Mandir, Hanuman Mandir, Satnarain Mandir, Shiv Mandir, Radhakrishin Mandir, Mukti Dham etc. Here 32 members were present (including 6 ladies in the meeting on 30/03/2014.)
Udaipur: (Mar-Apr 2014)
This beautiful & gigantic city was established in the month of May, 467 years back in name of Royal King Uday Singh, father of famous Patriot King Maharana Pratap and therefore in the month of May every year the celebrations are made for that purpose. 6 lakh people stay here including half a lakh Sindhis. They are spread practically in all corners of the city i.e. (1) Shakti Nagar, (2) Hiranmagiri, (3) Jawahar Nagar, (4) Kailash Nagar, (5) Kamla Nagar, (6) Machhlamagiri, (7) Swena Khera, (8) Gordhan Vilas etc. They have formed Sindhi Panchayats with names of these 8 localities. In addition, they have formed many other Sindhi Panchayats with the names of cities located in Sindh province. Such as (9) Pujya Balochistan Sindhi Panchayat (President Nanikram Khasturi, Gen-Secretary Suresh Kotaria), (10) Pujya Jacobabad Sindhi Panchayat (P-Gobindram Kalra, S-Vasudev Rajani), (11) Pujya Sindhi Sahiti Panchayat(P-Tirathdas Nebhnani, S-Omprakash Ahuja), (12) Pujya Khanpur Sindhi Panchayat (P-Harish Narinani, S-Rajesh Khatri), (13) Pujya Shikarpur Sindhi Panchayat (P-Sukhram Balchandani, S-Hiranand Chainani), (14) Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha (City P-Nanikram Khasturi, City S-Gopichand Rameja and Pradesh V.P. Suresh Kataria). This Sabha is doing wonderful social works and celebrates (with coordination with other associations) 21st January-Hemu Kalani Day, 10th April-Sindhi Bhasha & Sanskriti Competition Day, 16th June-Maharaja Dahirsen Shahidi Day, 14th August-Sindhu Sanskriti Day, 25th August-Maharaj Dahersen Jayanti and 15 days Bal Sauskar Shibir in the month of June every year & it also cooperates with other associations in celebrating Chetichand & other annual melas, (15) Shri Jhulelal Seva Samiti (P-Prataprai Chugh, S-Sunil Khatri). This association includes representatives of practically all other Sindhi Associations of the city and thus it looks like a Central Sindhi Panchayat. This association also does many social activities (with coordination with other organizations) such as arranging “Saumhik Vivaha” (joint marriages), ‘Parichaya Samelan”, celebrating Chetichand & other Melas etc. In addition to above, other associations are Mehila Sangathan, Jhulelal Navyuvak Mandal, Sant KanwarRam Seva Mandal and 26 more Yuva Sangathans are formed in different localities in the city. Every association is working hard in doing social work in its different field and celebrates annual functions in co-ordination with other associations which cannot be described here for want of space.
In addition to above annual functions, they celebrate Chetichand (New Year’s day) on a grand scale with pump & dignity for full week which includes blood donation, Bhandara, grand rally with 18 Jhankies of Band Bajas, riding on horses, youngsters on motor cycles, Mewar Sindhu Brigade of Military with Weapons, dancing, showing martyr Hemu Kalani being beaten by British Police, carrying Jyot and Babrana Sahib, passing Through different roads of the city while dancing continuously for 5 hours in the hot sun during the noon time. (Luckily I was also inspired to dance with them on this Chetichand day on 01/04/2014!). In the evening on the very same day a wonderful Jhanki of Jhulelal Sai was made with 51000 paper boats in Sanatan Mandir of Shakti Nagar locality. On the very same night (i.e. 01/04/2014) a grand Mela bazar was arranged nearby wherein dancing of children was exhibited on the stage & merit & lucky draw rewards were distributed. The Dasahara arranged by Sindhis of this city is famous throughout the country. The people from far away places came here to see the burning of effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna & Menghnath. A Bhandara is arranged on Sant Kanwar Ram Jayanti. ‘Mahila Holi Shok Milan (gulali) by ladies and ‘Shok Niwaran & Holi Milan’ by Gents, ‘Samuhik Karyakram’ (joint program) is also arranged by them. More over Ramnavami, Janmashtami & Sant Kanwar Ram Jayanti (21st Jan.), are celebrated by Sanatan Dharam Seva Samiti.
They have made 10 Sindhi Dharam Shallas / Bhavans out of which Jhulelal Bhavan, Sanatan Mandir (Shakti Nagar) and Surajpole Dharamshala are meant for not only marriage purposes but for lodging also. The remaining ones are made only for marriage purposes.. i.e. Sindhu Bhavan (Bhopalpura), Sindhu Dham & Mandir (Jawahar Nagar), Jhulelal Ashram & mandir (Hiranmagri), Shiv and Jhulelal Mandir (Pratapnagar), Sant KanwarRam Bhavan (Sahiti Panchayat, Sector 14), Sadhu Vaswani Dharmada Trust and Mandir (Tagore Nagar). They have made big ‘Vradhashram’ (elders’ home) named as ‘Sukhdham’ on an area of 20,000 sq.ft. wherein they have made a nice arrangement for comforts of elderly persons. In addition to above they have made Sant KanwarRam Mandir in Sant KanwarRam Colony, Kothi Baug.
Two Sindhi literary persons stay in this beautiful city namely Shri Nandlal Parisramani who has written 10 – 12 books and Shri Gopichand Rameja has written 3 books. The main personality and a Doyen of Sindhi Community, i.e. Shri Prabhudas Pahuja a 83 years old gentleman is staying here. He is founder President of above said Jacobabad Sindhi Panchayat. He has done neomen service to humanity and is held in high esteem even by non-Sindhis. Shri Gobindram Lakhani is editor of ‘Mewar Sangharsh’ which is published twice a year. The head office of ‘Sindh Panchayat Samadhar’ (By weekly) (which is published from Neemuch) is having its head office here. Its editor Shri Kamal Vardhani is staying here. The Sindhis of this gigantic city mainly (60%) speak in Sindhi at home & among themselves. 10% of them are in service, the remaining are in business i.e. Kriyana, Vegetables, readymade, cloth etc. On the whole they control practically main businesses of the city and command good respect in the Society which is a matter of Pride for Sindhi community. It is gratifying to note that here Sindhi language subject (Devanagiri Script) is taught in 4 High Schools which are Residency Girls High School, Girls High School (Bhopalpura), NavBharat High School and Sindhi Bhasini High School (Pratapnagar). Many worth seeing tourist places are found here in this nice city. Such as Govt. Museum , City Palace Museum, ‘Sahaliyon ki Bari’, Gulab Baug, Karni Mata Mandir (on a hill and by Ropeway), Maharana Pratap Smark, Rajiv Gandhi Park, Mahatma Gandhi Udyan, Shilpgram,, nehru Garden (by boat). In addition there are 5 lakes here (Pishola, Fateh Sagar, Udai Sagar, Dudh Talai, Swamp Sagar) and therefore this city is fondly and proudly called as ‘City of Lakes’. Many of these places can conveniently be visited by conducted tours. Moreover famous pilgrimage places like EKhigji, Shrinathji (Nathdwara) and famous historical place ‘Haldi Ghati’ (wherein Maharana Pratap vigorously fought Mughals) are located only at a distance of 50 – 60 kms. From the city. Here 14 members were present in the general meeting on 02/04/2014.
As far as the question of Sindhi speaking area on Rajasthan-Sindh Border is concerned, it is worth nothing that as per Dr. Nanikram Israni’s (Ex-Chairman Raj Sindhi Academy) book ‘Bharat me Bhoomia ji Khoj” and Shri Gyan Hemmani’s article, “Geographical Boundaries of Sindhi Language” (visit: www.youngsindhis.blogspot.in) and also as per Govt. sources, people staying in Sindh border area i.e. Ganganagar, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Barmer, and Jalore districts of Rajesthan as well as Kutch area of Gujarat (total area nearly 47000 sq. miles) normally speak in Sindhi or its dialects (i.e. Ladi, Thari, Saraiki, Kutchi, etc.). These reports pertain to the period 20 – 25 years back. However, in my above mentioned 17 days tour of 8 cities (particularly Jaisalmer, Barmer Jodhpur), it was prima-facie learnt on ground level that the aforesaid Sindhi speaking area is considerably being reduced year after year. Muslim Bhils who migrated to Jaisalmer distt. in 1990 and used to speak in Sindhi language, but nowadays they are speaking in Hindi & Urdu. Same is the conditon of Barmer Distt. Its main reason is that Rajasthan Govt. has not opened Sindhi medium Schools in these border areas. Even previous such schools have been closed. They have encouraged the teaching of only Hindi language in the schools. The less educated Sindhis of these area have, neither insisted on opening of Sindhi medium schools nor for teaching Sindhi language as one of the subjects in Hindi Medium schools. The border of Sindh is at a distance of nearly 100 kms. from Jaisalmer & Barmer towns. However, Sindhi language is being spoken within 50 kms from the border (like Gadra Road, Munabao etc.) and one gets the glimpse of Sindhi Culture even today. Nearly 2 lakh Sindhi Muslims stay in Barmer Distt. Likewise they stay in sufficient numbers in Jaisalmer Distt. They normally speak in Sindhi. They (and some Hindu Sindhis) are disciples of Pir Pagara (of Pir Jo Goth, Sindh) and are ‘Sufi’ (liberal) minded. The representative of Pir Pagara also stays in Jaisalmer town even now a days. As per Archealogical deptt. and others (in Jodhpur) Sindhi folk singers & Artists are counted as Rajasthani folk singers & Artists, Sindhi music instruments are treated as Rajasthani ones & so on. They have names & addresses of 200 Sindhi folklore singers & artists and they are prepared to give such Sindhi Cultural treasure to any Sindhi Organization if demanded by them (As per abovenamed Dr. Nanikram Israni).
Even now, it is never too late. It is high time to take advantage of the above situation. Even now if any Sindhi Organization moves in this direction by sending a special team to these border areas, makes a thorough Survey and investigation of present actual situation on ground level, more information is likely to come out. Then more action can be taken i.e. by persuading Sindhi NRIS to open industries and make other facilities for employment etc. available in these areas and then with the co-operation of these Sindhi masses (sons of the Soil) and by making coordinating body of all main Sindhi Associations of India & by making minimum common program (like NDA / UPA) by consensus, demand new Sindhi State from Central Govt. on the Rajasthan-Sindh border as well as on an Kutch-Sindh Border even by amending the constitution and thus all problems of Sindhi Community would be solved automatically. (Since so many such suggestions and establishment of Sindhi T.V. Channel etc., were received by me in this aforesaid tour). Just as soil is required for sowing seeds, likewise land is required for survival and advancement of Sindhi language, culture and Sanskriti. Without such land how long can tree of Sindhi Culture remain alive? Till such consensus is achieved we can at least struggle & demand our legitimate rights from the Govt. As we can not forgive our pre-partition day so called ‘Sindhi leaders’ for not acquiring Sindh Pradesh (on the lines of East Punjab & West Bengal) for not having foresight, likewise if we do not take any serious & vigorous steps in this direction within 10 – 15 years, the remaining Sindhi speaking areas on the aforesaid borders will vanish and the coming Sindhi generation will curse us for being passive. I am quite sure that as we have passed the first examination of standing on our own legs economically, we shall also pass in this 2nd exam of surviving and advancing of Sindhi Language and culture, getting our legitimate rights from the govt. and ultimately getting Sindh Pradesh in India, with the blessings of Bhagwan Jhulelal. (For further information please visit my blog : www.fragrancesindhicommunity.blogspot.in).
(Mohan G. Rohira, Advocate 9321448147)