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
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
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 @ http://www.sindhisammelan2009.org/index.html.