Sindhis rejoice with grand celebration of 50th anniversary

Dr Bhagwan Shahani,  Keynote Speaker
Dr Bhagwan Shahani,
Keynote Speaker

CHICAGO: Sindhis are a very resourceful and vibrant community making their presence felt in any area or country they migrate to or live in, and Chicagoland cannot be an exception.

They were a handful of them some 50 years ago and yet they thought of setting up an association of their own with a view to creating and spreading awareness of culture, language and religion amongst our youth and also providing avenues for interaction amongst the young and old alike of the community.

That was in 1964 and the association has matured into a very useful and meaningful organization of Sindhis providing a good platform to meet and greet while celebrating religious and national holidays besides undertaking cultural activities. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of its existence in Chicago, the association hosted a grand celebration on Saturday May 3 at Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows, a northwest suburb of Chicago, inviting Sindhis not only from all around from Chicagoland but also from others parts of the country.

All the members and invitees were greeted at the gate and handed over the Sindhi Community Directory. Red Colored Baseball Caps were given to all attendees. The words “Proud To Be A Sindhi” were engraved on the caps.

The evening began with a welcome speech from President Sushma Advani followed by lighting of the lamp with Mrs Rekha Thadani, wife of late Dr Kaloo Thadani (the first president’s who started this organization) and the five VIP invitees: Chicago Consul General Dr. Ausaf Sayeed and Mrs Sayeed; Dr. Bhagwan Shahani, Keynote Speaker, who spoke about Proud to be a Sindhi; Al Larson, Mayor of Schaumburg; Dr. Gopal Lalmalani, Mayor of Oakbrook, the first Sindhi Mayor in USA, Dr Dayal Meshri, who came from Tulsa.

Dr Meshri is a front ranking scientist and businessman whose family migrated to India in the wake of partition.

He told this paper that Sindhis will have yet another global event planned in the last week of July at Kuala Lumpur. Alliance of Global Sindhi Associations will host its annual even at Kuala Lumpur and it is expected close to 1000 prominent Sindhis from across the world will attend the event. Many dignitaries from India and Singapore have committed to attend the event, he said. He flew in from Oklahoma and many others came in from neighboring States.

The versatility and resourcefulness of Sindhis was very much highlighted by Dr Shahani in his keynote address while dipping into the roots of cultural heritage of Sindhis dating back to pre-Mahabharat times – 5000 BC to 10,000 BC. The Sindhis were resourceful there as was evidenced by the artifacts of Mohanjodaro and city of Dwarka which got submerged under the sea after a huge tsunami, he said. And they kept up that tradition till modern times even after Partition.

Many had migrated to Far East and Africa but the majority came to India and settled in all parts of the country. Citing specific examples enlisting their contributions to the development of economy, culture and welfare of society at large, he said that Bombay can boast of large number of educations institutions, huge medical facility, high level of real estate development and general upswing of business because of hefty Sindhi contributions. Sindhis have made their presence felt in Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Australia and now even in USA, he said drawing huge applause.

Concluding, he said that a very health development is that the second generation of Sindhis are now actively involved in the affairs of the association as well as in many social activities. The broad observation made by Dr Shahani was also shared by Indian CG Dr Ausaf whose graph of popularity with the Indian Americans is showing a steady upward trend. Dial Gidwani, President of American Institute of Sindhulogy, was seen distributing CDs, DVDs tracing the roots of Sindhis in Indus valley civilization.

Vandana Badlani presented evolution of dance in Indian Cinema gracefully. Beautiful Peacock dance was presented by a Chinese group followed by awards. Another awesome presentation was by Aloha Chicago Entertainment Team. Dinner was served in the interval and people enjoyed the taste of Meadows.

Then the program was restarted with a dance by Vinita Gulabani -an interesting modern Bollywood medley. Very interestingly it was more or less an extempore presentation from Vinita as there were not many Indian dances although there were Tibetan and Chinese dances. Vitnita Gulabani is the president of Hindi Lovers Club and she also volunteered her services as a Media Coordinator for this program.

Another beautiful performance of Tibetan dance was followed by honoring the past presidents. The Sindhi team took the stage with famous number Dama dum mast kalandar and celebrated dancing till midnight with DJ Nilesh.

Briefly, 50 years ago, due to the foresight of four to five families, the Sindhi Association was formed. Some of the members then were Dr & Mrs Kaloo Thadani, Naru Thadani, Prem Lalvani, Mr & Mrs Hashu Chandwaney, Prem Ajwani and Prem Advani. Today, the Association has over 300 members. Mission is to handover the Association to its future generations.

Harish Rao

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