Akhal Bharat Sindhi Sahat Sabha

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A day in Ahmedabad

By Amar Jaleel

Dawn


I ARRIVED in Ahmedabad on May 13, 2006, late in the evening to attend the annual Awards Function of Akhal Bharat Sindhi Sahat Sabha, the next day. The Akhal Bharat Sindhi Sahat Sabha is a premier non-political and nongovernmental organisation for the promotion of Sindhi language, literature and culture in India. They have to their credit praiseworthy achievements over the years.

Although in absolute minority, Sindhis in India have proved their mettle. With sheer willpower and undaunted courage they overcame the terrible turmoil of pre- and post-migration trauma, survived the severest test of time, rose from their ashes to take control of trade, commerce, finance, industrial and business management in India.

Far less than five million among a fiercely competitive population of over one thousand millions, the Sindhis rub shoulders with the tallest people in India. They are highly respected and are held in highest esteem all over India for their tremendous contribution in the field of education, healthcare, social welfare and the uplift of downtrodden people. They have built schools and colleges, finest hospitals, charitable clinics, auditoriums, ashrams, parks, places of worship, and community centres throughout the country.

Like Urdu, the Sindhi language and literature is written and spoken on both sides of the great divide. The writers of both the languages, Sindhi and Urdu patiently absorb the ridiculous visa restrictions, and they very often meet, mingle with one another, exchange thoughts and speak their hearts out. It is hard to partition people, and their mutual love and affinity for each other.

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