Mumbai: ‘It is important to know our roots as well as keep up with the times’

A new app includes matrimonial services, business listings, information on movies, historical stories, hotels and restaurants for the Sindhi community

Written by Rachna Dhanrajani | Mumbai | Published:May 16, 2016 3:01 am
 Sindhi community, mumbai Sindhi community, Sindhi community mumbai, digital space mumbai sindhi commuity, india news Their annual cultural fest is a hit among the Sindhi youth, inquisitive about their rich past and looking for an interesting future. Express Photo

A bunch of people from various walks of life from the Sindhi community have collaborated to start a digital space, a one-stop-assistance, for their community members. With every social strata getting exposed to technological advancement, the Sindhi community is keeping abreast with the changing times.

From curry craving to Sindhi wedding songs, the ‘Sindhi Camp’ app aims at meeting the demands of the community at a single click.

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The team which came up with the app comprises the owner of the digital space, Ravi Daswani, and his associates, Kamlesh Bathija, Shweta Punjabi and Jagdish Chabbria.

The members are offering the Sindhis an array of services, including matrimonial services, business listings, movies, historical stories, hotels and restaurants, to name a few.

“All of us here believe in a secular society, but it is very important to know and understand our roots too. And keeping up with the fast world is a necessity. To keep up with ourselves is more than a necessity,” says Punjabi.

The app, she says, has a global outreach. For the team, it is essential that the Sindhis know their culture and learn what it means to be a Sindhi. The idea led to the launch of the #ProudToBeaSindhi campaign.

However, it has not always been a smooth sailing for the community, especially having to leave their place of origin. Torn between borders, the journey of no return that the Sindhis had embarked upon, has left a scar so deep that it has not healed over time. The Sindhis say an episode so telling, they possibly cannot forget.

Having to leave a set pattern of life and shift to another country has led to a long and arduous struggle for survival. “Journeys are never easy. I lost my father on the way to India. It has been the worst phase of our lives,” says Parsram Makhija, who was just a five-year-old boy when his family moved to India during the India-Pakistan partition.

The refugees had started living at camps in and around Mumbai, and till today, these areas are home to the Sindhis.

As a balm to their suffering, the community has over the years come together and engaged in festivities.

“We are known to be a community of businessmen but trying times turns us into fighters,” says Sangeeta, who lives in the Sindhi Colony in Thane. “There is a saying that Sindhis can light a candle even when it pours. And I’m glad to have been born in this community,” she says.

“It is not easy for refugees to become one of the richest communities of the country. It takes a lot of blood and sweat and we have done it,” says Satram Makhija, a local.

Whether it is ‘chaliya sahib’, a 40-day long Sindhi festival, or Mahashivratri, Sindhis welcome celebrations with great zeal. The Sindhi neighbourhood where Sangeeta lives sends out a schedule of the season’s festive affairs. The Jai Jhulealal Association of local Sindhis organises various community programmes.

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Its annual cultural fest is a hit among the Sindhi youth, inquisitive about their rich past and looking for an interesting future.

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