By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The 31st Annual Convention of the Sindhi Association of North America (SANA), spanning over three days, was held recently in Houston, Texas. The moot was largely participated by literary and political personalities from all over the world. Around 600 families participated in the latest SANA event.
The leaders of North American Sindhi origin renewed their commitment to contribute positively to boost the image of their country and Sindh at the world level and serve the motherland with complete dedication.
On the concluding day, a general body meeting of SANA was held in which the central President Jamil Daudi, General Secretary, Noorunissa Ghanghro, Vice President, Canada, Maqsood Soomro, Vice-President, Youth Wing, Bakhtawar Hafiz, and Treasurer, Ali Hassan Bhutto, apprised the members about one year progress report.
On this occasion Zafar Agha presented progress report of SANA Fame Fund scholarships being given to deserving and poor students of Sindh for completion of their education.
The SANA decided to increase the number of scholarships to maximize the opportunities of quality education for the youth of Sindh.
The Sindh Skill Development project was also discussed under which the educated youth are extended job oriented skill development along with opportunities of employment overseas. Sohail Ansari presented report on Thar Potable Water project.
On the last day various sessions and panel discussions were arranged in which the SANA decided to connect the youth of North America and Sindh through social media for knowledge sharing and each other's professional buildup.
Need was stressed to teach Sindhi to the young generation of North American Sindhi families so that they were kept connected with their culture and heritage.
A seminar on health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression among youth was also arranged by Dr Hafeez Abbasi.
Another important session was a debate in which renowned intellectual, educationist and author Aaqil Shah spoke about the major issues of Pakistan.
The concluding session recognized volunteers and local organizers with the presentation of Life Time Achievement awards to world renowned vocalist Abida Parveen.
The Consul General of Pakistan in Houston, Afzal Mahmood, also spoke to the gathering and appreciated the activism of Sindhi community of USA and particularly in Texas to improve the image of Pakistan in this society.
On the occasion the artists coming from Pakistan, Humaira Channa and Shaman Ali Mirali, rocked the event with their famous songs and mesmerized the audiences who dances on their songs with great enthusiasm.
On the second day of event a political session was also arranged to discuss the real issues of Sindh and Pakistan which was addressed by Ayaz Latif Palijo, Mahtab Akbar Rashidi, Zulfiqar Halepoto, Mohammad Ali Mahar and Lakhu Lohano.
A session on Information Technology was also arranged in which experts including ex-President SANA, Iqbal Tareen, apprised young generation about the opportunities ofemployment and entrepreneurship in the field of IT.
A literary gathering was addressed by distinguished laureates and literates from Sindh including ex-chairperson Sindhi Language Authority, Dr Fahmida Hussain, noted drama and story writer Noorul Huda Shah, noted poet Aakash Ansari, Secretary General of Sindhi Literary Association Dr Mushtaq Phull, Professor Mukhtiar Samu, Dr Saleem Memon and others.
A session on education was addressed by noted educationist Syed Rasool Bux Shah, Saleem Memon, Asghar Soomro, Aijaz Turk and others.
The noted heads of media houses in Pakistan including chief of Hum TV, Sultana Siddiqui, head of Sindh TV, Dr Karim Rajper, head of Mehran TV, Ghulam Nabi Morai and noted columnist Asghar Soomro spoke on “The Role of Media" in an egalitarian society in Pakistan which was moderated by Khair Mohammad Kolachi.
On the opening day, a session was dedicated to discuss the issues of Sindhi women. Mahtab Akber Rashidi, Noorul Huda Shah, Dr Fahmida Hussain, Sultana Siddiqui, Nicolita Talpur, and General Secretary SANA, Noorunissa Ghanghro, regretted that even in this era of computer and information technology, a huge majority of Sindhi women are living without basic rights and looks still living in a stone age.
The speakers urged the educated people of Sindh to provide maximum opportunities of education, health and employment to their daughters and womenfolk without which no society can survive and compete to the global challenges.