SANA Convention (July 1-4, 1990 – Washington DC)
The historic sixth General Body meeting of SANA was held in Washington DC with many speakers, panelists, and other advocacy activities for the protection of Sindhi rights. Jiji Zarina Baloch awakened Sindhi audience with her rendering of nationalist and revolutionary songs of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai and Shaikh Ayaz. The Local Oragazing Committee consisted of Dr. Badar Shaikh as Chair, Sarfraz Memon, Aleem Brohi, and Abdul Nabi Memon. Dr. A. W. Bhatti arranged the of Congressman Obey to address a session of the SANA meeting. Seven Student Awards were given to those Sindhi students in North America, who had achieved a grade point average of 3.5 and SAT score of 1350. A distinction award called the “Scientist Award” was given to a Sindhi lecturer in Pakistan. Various delegates visited a Congressman, US State Department, and Asia Watch Human Rights group. Dr. Aftab Kazi and Dr. Askar Qalbani organized these meetings.
The reports presented at the convention highlighted the following achievements:
- Mr. Anwar Shaikh, Legal Advisor of SANA informed that SANA was incorporated as a “Not for Profit” organization in the State of New York.
- SANA West Coast chapter published an impressive newsletter titled INDUS. The editorial Board comprised of Irshad Kazi, Sani Panhwar, Saleem Ursani, and Ashraf Memon
- Aftab Kazi and Dr. Naranjan Dudani represented SANA at 25th Silver Jubilee meeting of Sindhi Association of Metropolitan Chicago. Aftab Kazi made a comprehensive presentation on historic ties between Sindhis in Sindh and Sindhi Diaspora and suggested venues for interactions between the two Sindhi communities. The meeting was dubbed as the initiation of interaction between Sindh-based and Hind-based Sindhis since the Sindhi Diaspora began after August 1947.
- The convention also discussed the possibility of holding a world Sindhi convention of all Sindhis irrespective of their religious orientation.
- The President of SANA reported that from its inception to now, SANA Executive Council conducted annual surveys soliciting detailed input from members on how SANA could do better to improve the organization and meet the expectation of membership. He also described the process the Executive Council decision-making process. The process consisted of discussing all matters, taking formal votes, documented all its decisions on a form called Vote/Voice Communication Form (VCF) and the distribution of VCFs to its members.
- The results of the December 1990 survey were discussed at the convention. The survey was sent to 260 paid members was responded by 50 members (19.2%). Throughout these years, three SANA programs secured the highest ratings: SANA General Body meetings, SANA Newsletter “SANGAT”, and SANA Membership Directories. The surveys also showed a strong support other SANA supported publications such as SINDH MONITOR, SANGAT WORLD, SANEH, and Sindh Journal of Asian and African Affairs. Other programs such as Video History of Sindh, Sindhi Language Instructor Video also received considerable support. As SANA members had diverse views on political matters and religious matters. SANA always kept away from supporting any political party or engaging in activities that could be misconstrued as favoring one religion over another or one political party over other. The membership clearly told SANA Executive Council to solely focus on Sindh and Sindhis and not get carried way with Pakistani or Indian politics as it could be dividing for the SANA community.
- SANA provided a loan of $ 1,500 to a Sindhi student who was short on funds for paying tuition fees.
- SANA also initiated projects in response to requests to provide computer equipment to the Institute of Sindhology, Mehran Engineering College (Nawabshah) and Mehran Educational Foundation,
- In order to focus SANA on Sindhi Rights, SANA EC approved a proposal by Iqbal Tareen to start an English publication “Sindh Monitor” to present Sindh’s point of view.
- It was reported that SANA had successfully collaborated in the formation of Australian Sindhi Association (ASA) in December 1989. A briefing was held on the ASA’s project for filming a documentary “Blood of the Indus”. Both SANA and ASA proposed to organize a moot of all Sindhi associations’ overseas and to work form a federation of all Sindhi associations.
- The first organized demonstration sponsored by SANA took place on March 25, 1990 in New York against the ant-Sindhi programs of Asian TV for their anti-Sindhi and pro-MQM reporting of ethnic disturbances in Karachi and Hyderabad.
- It was not only SANA Executive Council that was active in promoting Sindhi interests but also individual SANA members took many initiatives on their own. These included letter writing campaign by Mr. Rafik Mughal to various embassies and the President of the USA. The publication of Newswatch by Dr Mithal Vakassi, Kauser Bhutto, and Manzoor Shah informed world about the plight of Sindhis.
A report on SANA’s financial condition highlighted the following achievements;
$14,152(1990) $ 13,489 (1989) $ 4,705 (1988)
$17,210 (1990) $ 21,415 (1989) $8,669 (1988)
$ 16,543 (1990) $12,661 (1989) $ 7,903 (1988)