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Sindhi Association of Southern California (SASC)


Sindhi Sammelan at Los Angeles from July 24 to July 26, 2009

Los Angeles, May 12, 2009
By Dilip Butani

Sindhi Association of Southern California (SASC) and Alliance of Sindhi Associations of Americas, Inc. (Alliance) will be the co-hosts for the 16th International Sindhi Sammelan to be held at Westin Hotel (LAX), Los Angeles, CA, from July 24 to July 26, 2009.

Sindhi Sammelan began as a convention to celebrate the culture and heritage of Sindhis located in North America. However, due to the overwhelming success of the very first Sammelan, held in 1994 in New Jersey, the Alliance decided to go international. Over the years, Sindhi Sammelans are considered as forums to discuss Sindhi heritage & culture, to exchange business views and to promote interaction amongst children to preserve the Sindhi culture. The local organizers are always keen on showcasing the Sindhi-ism in their countries.

In the past prominent Sindhis like Dada J.P. Vaswani, Shri L.K. Advani, Shri Ram Jethmalani and Shri Suresh Keswani have chaired the Sammelan. The past venues have been in places like; New York, Chicago, Toronto, Santa Clara, Orlando, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, London, Mumbai, Singapore & Barbados; and ‘The Jhulelal Sammelan’ at the Sea.

SASC is a non-profit organization, serving the Southern California Sindhi Community for over 20 years. It’s main objectives being to promote, preserve & protect Hindu religion & culture and to create a sense of brotherhood, cooperation & cohesion among Sindhis living in Southern California. It also aims at promoting contacts with Sindhis living in other parts of the world and to inform, educate and create awareness among Sindhis about their way of life, culture, civilization, values, philosophy, language, literature, history, heritage, rights, interests and to work to preserve and promote a constructive evolution of the same. The success of the SASC is due to hard work and dedicated service by the Sindhi community to preserve their ancestral heritage.
SASC activities include, celebrating Hindu/Sindhi festivals and publish a monthly newsletter ‘Sindhi Link’ which keeps the Community informed about the activities of the Association and about other community events & news. Sindhi Link also has a matrimonial column and information about births/weddings/deaths etc. of the members or their family members. Members use Sindhi Link as a forum for voicing their views, ideas, criticism and suggestions for improving the programs.

During first 10 years, the Association conducted satsangs in members' homes or by renting halls in other temples/community centers. As the number grew and with increase in participation, it became difficult to accommodate such gatherings in homes. The temple halls were not available on most festival days. The executive committee started searching for a suitable hall that would belong to the association. After long struggle, SASC succeeded bought ‘The Sindhu Center in 1997. With the Grace of Lord Jhulelal, SASC’s objective of acquiring a permanent home was achieved. Since 1997 the Sindhu Center in Norwalk has served the Sindhi community as a place of worship as well other activities such as community hall, classes on yoga, practice for festivals such as Diwali program etc. The Sindhu Center has a kitchen and a library with books in Sindhi, Hindi and English. Very often other Hindu organization rent Sindhu Center to conduct their lectures and activities. SASC will soon have a full-time Sindhi Pandit. The Association is trying to attract younger generation to take interest and become familiar with their ancient traditions, culture and norms.

The idea of Sindhi Sammelan was first conceived in 1988, by Shri Prem Lalvani and Dr. Kaloo Thadani. The first concrete step, was however, taken during the Silver Jubilee Celebration of Sindhi Association of Metro Chicago. Prominent Sindhis that included retired Judge Motilal Butani, Dr. Bhagwan Shahani and Shankar Lakhvani, were invited to discuss the concept of World Sindhi Conference. The meeting was also attended by other members of Sindhi Association of Chicago. The concept was enthusiastically received by all in attendance. Initially, four Sindhi Associations joined the Alliance, viz. New Jersey, Washington D.C. Los Angeles and San Francisco, but the number rose to 17 when Sindhi Associations from Canada and Caribbean Islands also became members of the Alliance.

The Sammelan Committee is chaired by Kamal Lala with Ramesh Ramnani as the General Secretary and Krishan Gursahani & Ranjit Rajwani as Treasurers. The oversee or the Central Coordination committee consists of Mohan Dadlani, Kishan Hingorani, Dilip Butani and Chandra Ramsinghani. The other Sammelan Committee members include Raju Mohnani, Anita Punjabi, Hari Dadlani, Anita Advani, Keshav Khilnani, Raju Totlani, Dayal Punjabi, Raveena Khilnani, Anita Mahbubani, Raju Shewa, Mohan Keswani, Bunty Lalchandani, Bharti Khatri, Shaan Rupani and Monica Vasandani.

This year youths are also playing a key role. They have arranged various programs to attract young adults from all over the world. The Young Adult Committee consists of Monica Punjabi, Arit Butani, Kavita Chhugani, Lalit Kundani, Kanchan Chhugani and Anshul Kundani. Two videos ‘Sad Experiences of the Partition Days’ and ‘History of Sindh’, which will be shown at the Sammelan, are prepared by Neil Butani, Kavita Tekchandani, Anjali Butani and Geeta Malik.

This year Shri Ram Jethmalani and Shri Suresh Keswani have already confirmed their attendance and final confirmation is awaited from Shri L.K. Advani. More information about the Sammelan may be obtained by visiting the website @