By: Arjan Daswani Singapore Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In March 2013, when I first mentioned to my brother-friend Dada Kamal Mirchandani San Francisco about our intention that my granddaughter (5y+) whom I fondly call Madhu (honey) and who lives not too far away from his house, to join his Sindhi teaching classes at San Francisco Bay Area, he wrote me: “Your granddaughter at 5+ age would be the youngest to join the class. We have a few kids in the age group of 6 yrs and others 8 through 13. She would most probably require one parent to stay with her through the class”.
A month later, in April 2013, I was pleased to receive another email from him wherein he wrote: “I am glad that Raj and Maddy (Madhu) attended the opening session of Spring classes. Young Maddy (Madhu) is really a sweet and loving child. She showed a lot of interest and tried well to learn Sindhi sounds. Quite creditable, at her age she sat through the entire session and participated actively. Though she was a little shy...understandably being her first time. I am sure she will enjoy the classes even more as we go further. I am pleased to attach a few photos of the class".
April 21 2013: Raj A Daswani registering cute little Madhu (Maddy) for learning Sindhi while the classes organized by Dada Mirchandani at Bay Area San Francisco are going on. Seen at the foreground near map of Sindh is Dada Mirchandani, while the Screen shows one of the lessons from RomanizedSindhi.org
Seen here is the Sindhi learning class in operation. Raj and Madhu (Maddy) are seen in the row 3, seats 3 and 4. Class is organized by Dada Kamal Mirchandani with the help of SCNC dedicated volunteers including teachers Kishin Kanuga seen near the white board, Shobha Daryani seated in front near the wall and Sona Hemlani not in the photo. The class room facilities are provided by The Hindu Temple, Fremont
I pray that my granddaughter Madhu (Maddy) grows and aims to bring awareness of Sindhu Culture, Sindhi language and Identity with pride and passion to Sindhis all over the world and more specifically in the Western World. May God keep her blessed always.
I only wish to put on record that in the year 2006, when I was first “almost pushed” into the project of Standardizing Roman Sindhi" for the Global Sindhi use, by my senior colleague Mr. Govind L Chandiramani of Mumbai (whom we all fondly miss now; he left us for his heavenly abode on 26 Dec 2011) I must confess that at times I used to be upset because of his continued pressure on me. Little did I realize then that, one fine day we would have success, so much so that, I would be blessed with little cute granddaughter, Madhu (Maddy) and she would at her tender age of 5y+, participate in Sindhi learning classes, the very project I worked on tirelessly day and night from 2 years even before she was born.
Dada Chandiramani, while he lived, often used to tell me “This (Standardization of Roman Sindhi) project was destined to be achieved through you!" I simply say that was God's Will, DOER is HE; HE sent angels to earth, first Dada Chandiramani himself, and later just at the right time, Dr Devendra Kodwani of London UK and Col (Retd) Ram Gulrajani of Chennai, India.
After studying various versions of Roman Sindhi Script floating at several internet pages, and discussing with their relevant developers, I consulted Prof Dr Satish Rohra of Adipur Kutch and Prof Dr. Baldev Matlani of Sindhi Dept, Mumbai University. Several rounds of discussions followed and we all OVERHAULED the script and achieved STANDARDIZED ROMAN SINDHI for Global Sindhi use.
Since I was by then a Board member of the Alliance of Sindhi Associations of Americas Inc., I approached Alliance President Dr Dayal T Meshri, over phone and explained him the whole project. He was very kind and supportive; he took immediate action and put forward "STANDARDIZED ROMAN SINDHI for Global Sindhi use" in a Resolution form. Simultaneously I also telephoned Ms Kamal Lala, Chairperson of the LA Sindhi Sammelan (July 2009) and my friend Mr. Mohan Dadlani, an official of the LA Sammelan and explained the details to them. The resolution was put forth to a large gathering of Sindhi delegates from all over the world who attended the Sammelan and with God’s grace it was overwhelmingly approved and recommended for Global Sindhi use. The script was named as STANARDIZED ROMAN SINDHI VERSION LA2009.
In an effort to achieve greater support and recognition to the Script, I, with the help of Dr Devendra Kodwani London, organized a special SUMMIT CONFERENCE at SINDHU BHAVAN, AHMADABAD, INDIA, 29 &30 March 2010. ASAA consented to be sponsors for this conference, while II of Sindhology Adipur as the hosts. I personally discussed, with several top level Indian Sindhi Professors, Scholars and advisers, some of whom I even visited personally. At my humble request, they attended the Summit Conference as did also Alliance officials, Sindhology officials and my three Roman Sindhi colleagues stated herein above. STANARDIZED ROMAN SINDHI VERSION LA2009 was tabled. On behalf of Roman Sindhi team the debating of main points was done by my colleague Col (Retd) Ram Gulrajani while Dr Devendra Kodwani not only demonstrated Audio Visual Roman Sindhi Script Chart that he prepared but also successfully handled Secretarial issues at the Conference. After a LONG DAY OF DELIBERATIONS and with some minor changes ALL DELAGATES gave their UNANIMOUS approval and recommended it for the Global Sindhi use. The Script was re-named "STANDARDIZED ROMAN SINDHI SCRIPT VERSION LA2009 AS UPDATED AT AHMADABAD 29-30 MARCH 2010".
Immediately then, with the support from the Alliance and the financial help from the Community well-wishers, I organized the present dedicated website www.RomanizedSindhi.org and uploaded several audio and video supported lessons which will continue to grow both in quantity and quality. With GOD’s will, Sindhi language is now freely available at the fingertips, both for teaching and learning, for the benefit of Global Sindhi population.
Though having thanked earlier, I still consider it my duty to extend my thanks again to all Alliance and LA Sammelan Officials for their continued support, especially Alliance Chairman Mr Prem Lalvani (who not only had confidence in me but also advised me on the project from time to time while giving me a free hand to work on) and Alliance President Dr Dayal T Meshri. Both Dr. Meshri and Mr. Lalvani flew from USA to Ahmadabad for the Summit Conference and this conference was presided over by Dr Meshri. I must also thank all Sindhology officials, especially Dada Lakhmi Khilani, the Director, for hosting and organizing the Ahmadabad Summit Conference so well. I thank again all Sindhi Professors, Scholars, Advisers, and my colleagues for finding time to attend the Conference.
As the time followed, God showered his blessings more. He sent more Community minded kind souls, Ms Kajal A Ramchandani, Sindhi lecturer at Jai Hind College Mumbai and Dr. Vijay Bhatia of Pennsylvania, PA USA, to extend help and promote the project. We continue to work as volunteers without any thoughts of receiving any emoluments but with the pure aim of providing a service to the Community. We invite many more such volunteers. All those who have helpedwww.RomanizedSindhi.org at one or the other time are acknowledged and thanked for at http://www.romanizedsindhi.org/Pioneers.aspx?id=SalelessHelpers: Among them is a cute little computer gold medalist graduate Ms Rafia Sarwar Shaikh from Sindh Pakistan who has given excellent help in making data entries. May God bless her.
Here I would also like to record additional thanks to Ms Kajal A Ramchandani and Mr. Rajkumar Kukreja of Sindhi Seva Samiti Bangalore for their added promotion of this project by organizing a series of workshops on RomanizedSindhi.org under the platform of SHANDAR SINDHI.
RomanizedSindhi.org is also grateful to Dada Kamal and Manju Mirchandani for not only conducting, at San Francisco Bay Area, teaching of Sindhi through www.RomanizedSindhi.org, but also for looking and advising us on improvements.
Soon after the Ahmadabad Sindhi Sammelan Dec 2011 the first ever book in Romanized Sindhi titled "Roohani Choond Sindhi Kalaam" (with English meanings provided) was produced by Manju Mirchandani co-authored by Dada Kamal. Several copies of this book have been freely distributed all over the world. According to Dada Kamal, “Today with the help of this book global Sindhi youth is able to sing and participate in our traditional Sindhi chownkis keeping our proud heritage alive. This I believe is a great achievement for Romanized Sindhi project indeed!” Books similar to this will not only boost up the use of RomanizedSindhi.org Script but will also be a tool that will provide the missing link to help our generations tie up with our ancient cultural heritage, reviving and revitalizing SINDHI language and the cultural values associated with it.
Good wishes, blessings and lots of love to you dear Madhu (Maddy) from your Grandpa
Arjan Daswani Singapore Email:email@example.com
RomanizedSindhi.org Founding Coordinator and Chief Supervisor
Vice President ASAA