History Of SANA
SANA is registered as 501c non-profit organization the objectives of which are to unite Sindhis in North America and everywhere; to defend the historic national rights of Sindhi people; to foster friendship and understanding between Sindhis and other nationalities; to educate people about Sindhi Civilization, philosophy, values, language, literature, history and heritage; to harness and bring under one umbrella of SANA, the potential energy, resources, and knowledge in Sindhis living in North America.
In light of the above objectives, SANALIST is created for the Sindhi community in North America to discuss and analyze the Sindh situation, to form a bond between Sindhis in North America and to enrich from the information flow.
Desperation and Urge to Organize
It was early 1984, when the clouds of cruelty and discrimination in the form of General Zia’s regime overpowered Sindh and its people. The news of killing of scores innocent villagers demanding restoration of democracy and political rights had become unbearable for few Sindhis, who then lived in the vast continent of North America. Often they shared their pain and sorrows and mourned the inability of Sindhis back home to secure their rights.
The legend is that during some of those yearning sessions, a talk about forming an organized group gained traction. The key impetus for creating SANA was to organize Sindhi community in North America in order to help Sindhis back home to secure their economic and political rights and preserve their identity, culture and language.
The very fact that the Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) is celebrating its 25th anniversary is in itself a great achievement. Many similar organizations that aspired similar goals for preserving and promoting cultural, economic, and political rights of their people came and faded away. It is to the credit of North American Sindhi community that SANA has survived all obstacles and barriers that came its way. Granted it is not the exactly same organization that its creators and pioneers had dreamed. Never the less, it survives and is one of the important voices of North American Sindhis.
Initial Organization Efforts and Formation of SANA
A group consisting of Dr. Altaf Memon (Pennsylvania), Dr. Javaid Laghari (New York), Mr. Shankar Lakhvani (Pennsylvania), Dr. Aftab Kazi (Washington DC) and Mr. Anwar Memon (Toronto, Canada) became the organizing committee for exploring the feasibility of creating an organization of North American Sindhis. Soon thereafter, Dr. Aftab Kazi left for an overseas assignment and the remaining members of the organizing committee conducted an initial survey by sending a questionnaire to several Sindhi families in the USA and Canada. The response was reasonable which encouraged the Organizing Committee to begin the process of preparing an association charter and bylaws.
SANA Charter and Bylaws
This scribe was approached around August 1984 to help in the organizing efforts. As a result of these discussions, a formal proposal including the charter and by-laws and as well membership form was sent to about 80 families in North America. These packages were mailed from Toronto, Canada. Several positive responses and signed membership forms were received. Following these efforts, an interim Executive Committee consisting of Khalid Hashmani (President – Ontario, Canada), Naranjan Dudani (Vice President – Massachusetts, USA), Nazir Mughal (General Secretary – Pennsylvania, USA), Israr Ansari (Treasurer – Ontario, Canada), and Safia Mohammadlly (Information Secretary – Maryland, USA) was formed. Soon after initial formation, Dr. Nazir Mughal indicated that he had some time constraints and would not be able to fulfill his responsibilities as the General Secretary so Dr. Altaf Memon was persuaded to assume the role of General Secretary.
First 25 Members of SANA
By March 31, 1985, the FIRST 25 CHARTER MEMBERS OF SANA were Gul Agha, Altaf Memon, Israr Ansari, Naranjan Dudani, and Khalid Hashmani. Askar Qalbani, Mushtaq Kalwar, Shahzad Kazi, Nasreen Kazi, Inyatullah Kathio, Javaid Laghari, Shankar Lakvani, Razzak Memon, Bashir Memon, Safia Mohammadally, Aftab Mufti, Meerchand Oad, Nisar Ali Shah, Aftab Shaikh, Badar Shaikh (NY), Sajida Shaikh, Iqbal Tareen, and Saleem Wafai.
First General Body Meeting (Washington DC, August 1985
The first Annual General Body meeting (Later the annual meetings started to be called SANA annual conventions) was held in Rockville, Maryland in August 1985. This event was simply a dinner at a local restaurant (organizers: Sajid Akhund and Safia Mohammadally). The General Body formally approved the SANA charter and bylaws. It also added a clause on the disposition of any remaining funds to educational institutions in the event the association was dissolved. A heated discussion about the association goals and objectives took place in the meeting. In the end, the objectives as stated in the SANA charter were reaffirmed by the General Body.
The meeting approved the interim Executive Council for the full-term of two years beginning January 1, 1985. The body also appointed Agha Gul to investigate the process of securing a tax-exempt status and formed various committees – Membership Committee (Irshad Kazi, Zahoor Siddiqui, and Roshan Shaikh), Social and Cultural Committee (Latif Lighari, Karim Memon, and Razzak Memon), Publication Committee (Altaf Memon, Roshan Shaikh, and Razzak Memon), and Fund Raising Committee (Ali Nawaz Memon, Latif Lighari, and Inayat Kathio). A resolution in support of the formation of SANA by the Boston Area Sindhi Association was read at the meeting. The SANA members greatly appreciated this gesture and passed a “thank you” resolution.
After dinner, a “Sindhi Sham” was celebrated at the residence of Ali Nawaz Memon. A report in “SANGAT” (a quarterly newsletter of SANA) describes the Sindhi Sham as “It was an evening of Sindhi, songs, dances and great katchahry. The sham was started with a slide show showing historical and cultural sites in Sindh. The show was put together by Dr. Gul Agha. The scholarly narrative of Dr. Gul Agha was thought provoking and very much appreciated by the audience. Dr. Naranjan Dudani and Miss Lata Chainanni stole the show with their rendering of ‘Nangra Nimani da Jewewen teewen Palna’, “ho Jamalo’, and many other songs.”
Nourishing SANA in its Early Years
Every one realized that to nourish SANA, whose membership was disbursed over the vast continent, had to be based on extensive consultation and democratic principles for decision making. The practice of conducting regular membership surveys lasted for more than a decade. The first membership survey conducted in November 1985 asked members to vote for the venue, timing, and organizer names for General Body meetings from among a list of four-five cities. In addition, the survey contained a “Change of Address” area. By November 1985, SANA had become a formidable organization of 50 family and individual memberships.
Building SANA as an institution
The Second General Body meeting was held in the Niagara Falls/Buffalo area on July 4 and 5, 1986. The keynote speaker at this meeting was Dr. Feroz Ahmed, who spoke on how North American Sindhis can help their brothers and sisters back home. The key take-away from his presentation titled “Light the Torch” was that only Sindhis who live in Sindh can regain the ground they have lost, overseas Sindhis can only help them in these efforts. The SANA EC thanked Abdul Fateh Halepoto, who designed beautiful logo of SANA, Anwar Memon for contacting Mr. Halepoto and getting SANA pads printed, and Mrs. Parveen Laghari for bringing the pads with new logo to the USA. At the meeting, Dr Javaid Laghari made a presentation and distributed free copies of the first Sindhi Word Processing Software that he had developed at SUNY Buffalo. The SANA Treasurer issued financial statement for 1985 showing total receipts (membership fees, donations, etc.) of $ 1,1517.59 and total expenses of $409.75. With a small amount carried from 1984, the surplus stood at $1,221.09.
Strategy to Unify Sindhis, form an Alliance and win Rights
During these early years, strategy to form a strong alliance of Sindhi intellectuals, political minds, and affluent proved to be successful. With each year, not only amount of donations increased so did the breadth of SANA activities and planning of more ambitious plans. The most cherished and ambitious plan was to form a world congress of all Sindhi organizations. The key objective was to create a single platform for all Sindhis to interact with each other and work together for protection of Sindhi heritage and Sindhi rights. Proposals to engage in intensive advocacy campaign with the US Executive and legislative branches on behalf of Sindhi hit a strong approval from SANA members. SANA encouraged academicians such as Dr. Javaid Laghari, Dr. Gul Agha, Dr. Altaf Memon, Dr. Naveed Qamar, Dr. Aftab Mufti, Dr. Niranjan Dudani, and Dr. Aftab Kazi to undertake innovative activities such as creating Sindhi word processing software, and collaborating with universities and colleges in Sindh. After military firings on several demonstrators in Sindh, SANA vigorously campaigned for the condemnation of such attacks; wrote letters to key members of the US Congress and senior State Department official; and sent telegrams to President and Prime Minister of Pakistan and leaders of countries to stop bloodshed of Sindhis.
The December 1986 issue of SANGAT contained a thought-provoking article on exploitation of Sindh’s energy resources with much of the benefit going to Punjab at the expense of Sindh’s poor people. The elections of the SANA Executive Council (EC) for the new term (1987-88) were amicably conducted in December 1986. The elected officers included Khalid Hashmani (President), Naranjan Dudani (Vice President), Javaid Laghari (General Secretary), Nadeem Qamar (Information Secretary), and Israr Ansari (Treasurer). The 1986 Financial report (published in March 1987 issue of SANGAT) listed total revenue of $ 2,119.44 and Expenses of $ 1,364.42 with overall cumulative surplus of $ 1,871.86.
The third annual General Body meeting of SANA was held in Pittsburgh on the weekend of July 4, 1987. The coordinator of the meeting was Shankar Lakhvani. In addition to keynote presentation by Dr. Aftab Kazi, Gope Chandar and his family made it a memorable musical evening with delightful Sindhi songs and dances. An impressive amount of $ 2,300 was pledged in donations at this meeting with the highest amount ($ 500) pledged by Mr. Saleem Ursani.
Hectic Pace of Activities in 1987-88
SANA conducted a survey of membership to solicit concerns and preferred programs that members would like the EC to focus on. SANA sent a small donation towards the organization of a Shah Abdul Latif seminar to be held in New Delhi, India. After being briefed by SANA on the worsening law-and-order situation and attacks on Sindhis in Karachi and Hyderabad, The International Sindhi Samellan organization passed a resolution condemning such actions and appealing the heads of non-aligned countries to pressure Pakistan Government to put a stop to the genocide. The popularity of SANA’s newsletter SANGAT (Chief Editor: Dr. Altaf Memon) attracted a huge interest from Sindh and Sindhi community in India. Some offers have been received seeking permission to publish SANGAT in Pakistan and India.
A SANA “Needs and Priorities survey” was conducted to solicit member input to ensure that SANA continued to meet the member needs. 80% of membership selected SANA’s newsletter SANGAT as the most valuable program and indicated that 20% of the SANA budget should be allocated to it. General Body meeting and inviting Sindhi artists and intellectuals to North America followed this. The SANA Membership Directory was voted as the third-most popular activity.56% members expressed satisfaction with the type of press statements that were issued by the EC; 24% wanted more press statements of similar type and 12% wanted fewer press statements. In response to a question, several names were suggested for inducting as EC and AC (Advisory Committee) members. Also 67% expressed full satisfaction with the by-laws and 14% felt that some changes were desired.
The fourth annual General Body meeting was held in New York on the weekend of June 25-26, 1988. The coordinator of the meeting was Badar Shaikh with support from Sarfraz Abbasi, and others. In addition to the annual meeting of members, an Adabi Mehfil moderated by Dr. Aijaz Turk, a musical program, and a picnic was organized in conjunction with the conference. Several delegates from Sindh (Pakistan), UK, and India also attended the conferences. The key decisions made the meeting included authorizing Dr. Aijaz Turk to pursue discussion of the Sindhi Language project with officials of Sindh University and the Institute of Sindhology. SANA provided an initial grant of $ 500 to Dr. Aftab Kazi to start a quality publication called “The Sindh Journal of Asian and African Affairs”. SANA also provided a donation of $ 500 to Mr. Aijaz Sindhi to start a Sindh magazine “SANEH” from New York. The meeting approved a moderate increase in SANA membership fees; and Dr. Aijaz Turk announced the formation of a SANA Medical Chapter. Total donation pledges made the meeting exceeded $ 5,000. The speakers at the New York meeting included Professor Ghulam Mustafa Shah, Hafeez Pirzado, Makhdoom Khaliquzaman, and Dr. Khalid Laghari. Mr. Hafeez Pirzado in a moving speech talked about the systematic colonization of Sindh. He said that the 1973 constitution had failed and there was a need of a new constitution with equal rights for all four provinces. The emotion and resolve of North American Sindhis was apparent when almost every one joined and sang “Sindhri te sar ker na deendo e yar, sahando ker e mayar oh yar”.
The SANA Executive Council proposed and won approval of SANA members to expand the role SANA Advisory Committee. The new Advisory Committee consisting of Shoukat Ansari, Shankar Lakhvani, Razzak Memon, Badar Shaikh (New York), Amanullah Turk, Asif Wafai, Aftab Kazi, Mohammad Ali Mahar, Mahmood Qalbani, Dr. Badar Shaikh (Maryland), Aijaz Turk, Adam Khan Laghari, and Aijaz Abro was formed. The composition of the Executive Council (EC) was also expanded to 11 members and the new elections for the next two-year term were held in December 1988. Those elected for the next term included Khalid Hashmani (President), Naranjan Dudani (Senior Vice President), Mahmood Qalbani (Vice President North America), Aftab Kazi (Vice President Overseas), Javaid Laghari (General Secretary), Aijaz Turk (Joint Secretary), Razzak Memon (Information Secretary), Israr Ansari (Treasurer), Badar Shaikh (Regional Secretary – East), Shabbir Shaikh (Regional Secretary – Mid-West), and Adam Laghari (Regional Secretary – West).
The SANA President wrote letters to prominent Sindhis in Europe, Far East and Middle East to form Sindhi organizations and to launch a campaign for Sindhi Rights. In October 1988, a group of Sindhis in Europe had several get-together meetings that eventually led to the formation of the Sindhi Association of United Kingdom and Europe (SAKUE). A proposal to hold a joint meeting sponsored by both SANA and SAUKE in second quarter of 1989 was tabled for consideration of both organizations. Around the same time, the SANA chapter of medical doctors named itself as Sindhi Medical Association of North America (SMNA). The Toronto Metropolitan library reported that about 200 books in Sindhi and/or about Sindh were received from North American Sindhis.
A large group of Sindhis including several members of SANA EC had an emergency meeting in St. Louis to consider the situation created by violent attacks against Sindhis in Karachi and Hyderabad. Mithal Vakassi hosted the meeting. Hafeez Pirzado and Dr. Suleman Shaikh also attended the meeting from Sindh. The moot pledged $ 20,000 for purchase of two ambulances to help Sindhi victims who were not receiving help from Eidhi Foundation in Karachi. In addition, Dr. Askar Qalbani announced annual donation of $ 3,600 for 110 freeships in the Roshan Tara schools to help Sindhi poor students Further, 14 SANA members pledged 14 SANA life memberships each at $ 1,000 (SANGAT issue of December 1988).
Years of Consolidation
In 1989 with assistance from fellow Sindhi attorney and a prominent SANA member Mr. Anwar Shaikh, SANA was incorporated as a “Not for Profit” organization in the State of New York. SANA Executive Council appointed Irshad Kazi and Husna Shaikh to the SANA Advisory Committee and thanked Irshad Kazi for introducing 16 new SANA members. 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 first ever form 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 month of July 1989 was one of the most important in the context of SANA achievements. Not only, SANA Convention in St. Louis attracted the largest number of attendees, but also a magazine called SANGAT WORLD started its publication in Sindh. Altaf Memon and Adam Laghari edited the SANGAT WORLD and its Editorial Board consisted of Mehtab Mahboob, Hafiz Qureshi, and Imran Laghari. It had representatives in Middle East, and India.
The 1989 SANA General Body Meeting was held in St. Louis, Missouri on July 1 and (Coordinators: Mahmood Qalbani). According to editorial in the October 1989 issue of SANGAT, “The St. Louis meeting was successful in many ways, but the most profound manner in which our womenfolk participated was really the highlight of the meeting”. The editorial went on to caution that “As SANA has gained respect and stature, there are individuals who wish to either gain control of it or use if for self-grandizement”. In a column in the same issue of SANGAT, Dr. Feroz Ahmed wrote “Amidst a festive atmosphere, enlivened by Abida Parveen and joyous performance by the local amateur artists, the pain and agony of Sindh was clearly heard through many speeches, interventions, questions, and answers”. More than $ 25,000 was pledged at the moot. Dr. Amanullah pledged $ 4,000, followed by twelve $ 1,000 pledges, six $ 500 pledges, and thirty-two other donations from $ 300 to $ 50.
Mr. Anwar Memon and Mr. Iqbal Tareen graciously accepted to become members of the SANA Advisory Committee. A publication committee consisting of Dr. Feroz Ahmed, Dr. Altaf Memon, and Dr. Razzak Memon was formed and entrusted the responsibility to bring a new revamped SANGAT to become an effective voice of Sindhis in the USA and abroad. The committee appealed North American Sindhis to sponsor upcoming issues with financial pledges.
Sindhi Medical Association of North America (SMNA)Although, SMNA with its own Executive Council largely operated independent of SANA, its contributions and help to Sindhi causes were quite important. Its leadership consisting of Dr. Mithal Vakassi, Dr. Rafaat Ansari, Dr. Aijaz Turk, and Dr. Mahmood Qalbani initiated many important projects. These projects included initiating work on making of a video on the history of Sindh and other to provide VCRs, Televisions, and educational tapes to 12 schools in Sindh. The Sindh Graduate Association (SGA) Medical Center at Qasimabad in collaboration with SMNA was started on December 14, 1990 SMNA made donation of $ 5,000.
SANA As a grass-root organization of Sindhis
From its inception till at least 1990, Depending on the urgency of situation or at least once each year, 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. The Executive Council openly discussed all matters, took formal votes, documented all its decisions on a form called Vote/Voice Communication Form (VCF) and distributed to its members.
For example, the December 1990 survey 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. The history clearly shows that as soon as SANA leadership became partial to one or another political party or failed to keep focus on Sindh and Sindhis, it could not avoid division among its ranks.
The tradition of brainstorming problems faced by Sindh and Sindhis remained the cornerstone of interactions and reaching consensus.
SANA was always forthcoming in providing support to Sindhis in emergencies. For example, early in 1990, SANA gave a loan of $ 1,500 to a Sindhi student who was short on funds for paying tuition fees. Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, that loan was never paid-back to SANA. 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,
SANA in the forefront for the struggle for Sindhi Rights
With several Sindhi organizations in various continents, all dedicated to the preservation Sindhi heritage and win their Rights, it was a proud moment to see the formation of Australian Sindhi Association (ASA) in December 1989. Like other Sindhis, they too were shocked at the intensity of the vicious attacks on native Sindhis in Karachi and Hyderabad by the same people who were welcomed by their fathers. They embarked on a project to make a documentary “Blood of the Indus”. They appealed for support from SANA, which was immediately pledged. 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 editorial in December 1989 issue of SANGAT says the following:
It is heart warming that Sindhis living in different parts of the world are organizing themselves and realizing the importance of their roots and taking pride in their culture, heritage and above all age old civilization. Our religious tolerance, chivalry and love for land and language are the cornerstones of our heritage. Shah, Sachal and Sami have left us a vast knowledge, an immense wisdom and a complete way of life for world peace, human dignity and personal satisfaction. We should be genuinely proud of our Sindhyat and strive for its preservation. Along the way may be we should understand the problems faced by Sindhis in different parts of the world and help them achieve their goals. No matter where we live we should keep contact with our land, keep our language alive and make Shah Bhitai, our national poet philosopher, as our guide in our lives. If present trends of awakening continued it will not be in a very distant future that a truly world wide Sindhi organization emerges. Perhaps, SANA can play a role in its emergence.”
The actions of SANA did not consist of emotional outbursts but were a result of intensive consultation and consensus reaching process. Here is a quote from an article titled “Reflections” written by Dr. Feroz Ahmed in the same issue of SANGAT:
“While fundamental remedy to the malaise in Sindh shall continue to lie in the change in the offensive attitude of Mujajirs, there is something that Sindhis can also contribute to reduce the tensions. And the foremost among these is to recognize that solution to political problems can only be political and not the big stick. Any attempt to take revenge from the MQM will only be counter productive. No matter how ugly it is, the MQM still represents the Muhajir community, and the Sindhis will have to deal with it as such.
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 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.
Dear SANA members,
I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about our youth organization called SYNA. This group was designed to help the youth meet new people and find out more about there culture.
When was SYNA formed?
This wonderful organization was created in April of 1998. This group was formed by Humair Baloch on the request of former SANA president Mr. Mazhar Lakho
Why was SYNA formed?
This organization was designed to unite and help communicate with our Sindhi youth. The secondary purpose was to form a way for the Sindhi youth to meet new people, keep in touch in the future, and lastly create a network for the younger generation. I’d like to thank everybody who read this, I really appreciate it!
What are the goals for SYNA?
The goals of this organization are to unite the youth in the best way possible. Meaning, interacting with one another, and learning about Sindh in detail. Also to meet new people just like them.
SYNA Vice President
Constitution & Bye-Laws
The Constitution and its bye-laws are intended to regulate the activities of the Association. It defines clearly the specific purpose of the Association, duties and responsibilities of its members and office holders.The name of this secular, nonprofit association shall be SINDHI ASSOCIATION OF NORTH AMERICA.
For legal purposes, the association may be registered as per the law of the land. However, for general communications it will be referred to as SANA.
Membership eligibility criteria.
a) has roots in SINDH, or has roots in an area where Sindhi or its dialect is spoken, or speaks Sindhi or one of its dialects.
b) supports the preservation and growth of The Sindhi civilization, culture and language.
c) supports the legitimate rights and aspirations of the Sindhi people.
To create a sense of brotherhood, cooperation and cohesion amongst Sindhis living in North America.
To endeavor for, and defend the historic national rights, including human rights, and rights of self determination of Sindhi people within their existing national territory.
To promote contact with Sindhis living in different parts of the world, cooperate for common goals and purposes with their organizations.
To inform, educate and create awareness among Sindhis and non-Sindhis alike about the Sindhi peoples way of life and civilization; values and philosophy; language and literature; music and culture; history and heritage; arts and architecture; and rights and interests, and to work to preserve and promote a constructive evolution of the same.
To work and cooperate with other individuals and organizations for human rights, social justice, world peace, cultural tolerance, international brotherhood, global disarmament, the eradication of world hunger, poverty and disease, and conservation of ecology.
To play a positive role representing Sindhi community in North America in various cultural and social events.
By establishing educational and informational resources on every aspect of Sindh and Sindhis.
By promoting cultural activities to preserve our heritage using all necessary means available to the Association.
By organizing regular gatherings to promote a sense of identity amongst Sindhis of different walks of life or the development of mechanisms to achieve the goals of this organization.
By networking and cooperating with similar institutions all over the world to create an international friendship of Sindhis.
By reviewing events in Sindh and informing people about the state of Sindh and Sindhis.
By providing necessary humanitarian, scientific and technological resources to Sindh and the Sindhi institutes in any way possible.
By targeting resources towards humanitarian purposes such as relief efforts, educational programs, preservation of culture, historic landmarks and archeological sites; protection of race and endangered species, prevention of cruelty to children and animals, protection against domestic violence and gender discrimination particularly with regards to Sindh and Sindhi people.
By holding meetings, rallies, cultural shows, parades, seminars and fairs to project the culture of Sindhi people through Sindhi folk music and dramas.
The association shall consists of:
Life member (individual or husband and wife)
Regular Members with individual and family sub categories
1). Life Member
All members residing anywhere in North America by payment of the life membership fee can become life members of the Association.
Life Members shall have the same privileges as enjoyed by regular members.
2). Regular Members
All Sindhis residing anywhere in North America by payment of the annual fee can become regular members of the association.
Regular Members shall have the right to vote, nominate candidates and be eligible to hold any office of the association.
Membership in this category will be valid for 12 months from the first day of July 1st through June 30th of the next year, regardless of when the dues have been paid. Membership will be renewed every July 1st.
3). Honorary Members
Distinguished persons who support the aims and objectives of the Association irrespective of their nationality can be invited by the Executive Council to become Honorary Members. The members in this category will maintain their membership unless terminated by EC for cause.
Any member (s) of other category(ies) can recommend these nominations for membership of this category to the Executive Council for consideration.
These member (s) shall pay no fees and enjoy no voting and/or election rights. They may, however, be appointed to any special purpose committees.
4). Individual and Family Members
These sub categories are available only to regular members.
For the purpose of the SANA membership, the “Family Membership” is defined to consist of wife, husband and their children who are below 18 years of age and reside in North America. In case of a family membership, both spouses shall have all membership rights and privileges including voting and election rights. The dependent children may enjoy all other rights and privileges.
5). Active and Inactive Membership
Any member except an honorary member or life member who ceases to pay annual membership fee shall be considered as an inactive member.
An inactive member will loose all the rights and privileges of membership.
An inactive member will be removed from the Association if inactivity persists for more than two consecutive years.
The Executive Council may consider extensions in the period of inactivity on case by case basis.
V. EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
The affairs of the Association shall be conducted by an Executive Council, elected and/or approved by the General Body; only Regular, Life and Student Members would have the right to vote at the elections and nominate, contest and/or be nominated for the Executive Council Offices.
The Executive Council shall consist of:
Two Vice Presidents. One each from Canada and USA. All members of SANA will vote for each of these positions
Vice President Women Affairs
Vice President Youth Affairs
The Executive Council Officers are to hold offices for two years and for a maximum of only two consecutive terms on the same post. If unable to find suitable candidates, then EC may nominate a person by mutual consensus.
Executive Council shall have the right to accept/reject any request/application for membership with cause and appoint honorary members.
The General Body can approve/disapprove any decision of the Executive Council by a simple majority vote of the active members.
A joint session of the Executive Council and Advisory Council shall be held in or about the month of January each year. In this meeting, the President shall present a draft plan of activities for that year. The proposed plan and the annual budget of expenditures and revenues will be discussed and adopted by the Executive Council. The president will be responsible for implementing the plan.
A member of the Executive Council or Advisory Council shall not make any representation or issue a political statement on behalf of SANA either in favor or against any political party or a group without prior consent of the Executive Council.
Each member of the Executive Council will submit a progress/status report at the annual SANA general body meeting and will answer any questions asked by SANA members.
Shall be responsible for smooth running of SANA affairs in his/her region
Will represent the Association along or with the Vice President or the General Secretary at all times.
Shall have the powers to form subcommittees and assign necessary tasks to them.
Shall issue quarterly status reports about SANA’s affairs in the months of March, June, September and December.
Shall be responsible to present a draft plan of activities and implement the approved plan as per the provisions of Clause 8 under Article V. Any deviations from the plan must be approved by the Executive Council.
Shall be responsible for the formulation and articulation of SANA policies as approved by the Executive Council.
2) Vice Presidents
Shall be responsible for smooth running of SANA affairs in his/her region
Shall be responsible for liaison with Sindhi and other like minded organizations.
3) Vice President Women Affairs
Shall be responsible for initiating and implementing SANA programs that aim at increasing the empowerment of Sindhi women.
She will also provide incentives to increase women participation in SANA
Will represent SANA women in all EC meetings, gatherings, seminars as well as in meetings with like minded organizations.
All SANA members will elect secretary women affairs.
4) General Secretary
Shall conduct all the correspondence and be a focal point of correspondence within the Association.
Shall be responsible for legal affairs and day to day business of the Association in general and Executive Council in particular including production and distribution of the Bye-Laws of the Association, preparation of Status reports, preparation of agenda/minutes of the meeting of the Executive Council, Advisory Council and General Body etc.
Shall maintain all files and records that may be necessary for the Association.
Shall send welcoming letters to new members, along with SANA bye-laws and recent publications.
Shall call extra ordinary meeting of Executive Council if requested by 33% or more members of the Executive Council.
5) Joint Secretary
Shall take up all General Secretary’s responsibilities in his/her absence.
Shall be responsible for establishing ties with cultural and literary organizations in Sindh and around the world.
Shall be responsible for enhancing membership of SANA
6) Information Secretary
Shall be responsible for keeping, updating and distribution of the directory of the members of the Association.
Shall gather information, maintain contacts with information resources and disseminate information to the members on the regular basis.
Shall promote objectives of the Association and be in charge of audio visual and print activities of the Association.
Shall record and circulate proceedings/minutes of the meetings of the Association bodies and their activities.
Shall plan, initiate, maintain information and journalistic contacts with general media, like-minded organizations, institutions, interested individuals etc.
Shall head an “Information and Publication committee” appointed by him/her with the approval of the President.
Shall be a moderator of Sanalist
Shall be responsible for compiling and distributing “SANA Directory”
Shall oversee and supervise the function of the official accounting firm of the association (if applicable).
Monitor the financial health of the organization.
Will prepare annual budget of the association, including expenditures and revenues for the whole year. Will present this and have this approved by the Executive Council.
Shall present the annual financial at the General Body Meeting during the annual convention.
Shall be responsible for the transfer of any funds, with the approval of the Executive Council, as required on behalf of the Association.
Shall send annual fee reminders to all SANA members and send a list of defaulters to the President for follow up.
The association shall contract with a registered accounting firm, to prepare and maintain all accounts of the Association including receipts of all memberships, donations etc., and keep a record of all expenses.
The accounting Firm shall be responsible for preparing annual accounts and auditing of the account reports.
Will arrange to send a portion of the membership fees to the chapters, per agreement between the Executive Council and relevant each chapter.
8) Vice President Youth Affairs
Shall be 18 to 25 years of age.
Will be elected by all SANA members.
Will represent youth during all EC meetings.
Will provide leadership for younger members of SANA.
Will work towards improving youth participation in the affairs of SANA.
Provide awareness to SANA youth regarding their Sindhi roots.
Will recommend age related activities during individual chapter events as well as during annual conventions.
9) Council of Past Presidents
Will be responsible for all grievance/conflict resolution.
Provide input in the formation of Election commission.
Implementation of code of ethics.
10) Permanent Committees
The Executive Council shall appoint the Chair of the Elections Commission on or before the 30th of July of the election year.
The Commission Chair will then appoint two (2) additional members of the commission with the consent of Executive Council.
The cut-off date for voter eligibility will be August 15th of the election year. Only those members whose annual dues for the election year are paid and their membership form has been received and accepted before this date will be eligible to vote in the SANA elections. Members who do not meet this deadline will continue to enjoy all other membership rights and privileges.
The list of eligible voters will be issued by 1st September of the election year.
The candidate nomination must be received by 15th September and the last date of nomination withdrawal will be 15th October of the election year. A member can only contest for one office at a time.
The Election Commission after verification will prepare and circulate the final list of all eligible voters amongst all candidates on or before 21st October.
The Election Commission will distribute election ballots to the eligible members on or before 7th November with the return deadline on 15th December of the election year.
All ballots received by the Elections Commission on or before 15th December will be counted. After the ballot counting, the Commission will announce the results by 20th December of the election year.
The new Executive Council shall resume work from January 2nd of the following year.
The Election Commission will monitor the membership drive to determine the eligibility of each new member. Any candidate resorting to unbecoming practices that may artificially influence the outcome will be disqualified. The commission shall take immediate notice of any complaint of irregularity and conduct inquiry and provide remedy either directly or in consultation with EC. A two-thirds majority vote of the Elections Commission is required for any disciplinary action.
VII. General Body
Shall consist of members of all categories, but only those who have the voting and election rights can participate in passing of any resolution/decision by the General Body to approve, reject, or alter the activities of the Association as carried out by the Executive Council.
Shall meet at least once every year during the term of Executive Council, in person or via any communication medium to set guidelines, approve actions of the Executive Council and discuss views of the membership.
An eight week notice shall be required for a General Body meeting except in case of an emergency.
Quorum for an in-person meeting shall be 33% of the total active membership and 40% of the total active membership for a non “in-person” meeting except in case of emergency.
Members unable to attend the General Body meeting can proxy another member to attend and vote on his/her behalf.
The decisions/resolutions of the General Body shall be passed by a simple majority vote of the members attending and shall be binding on the membership and the executive council.
Quorum for an amendment to the Bye-Laws shall be atleast 50% of the total active membership.
These Bye-Laws may be amended or replaced and new Bye-Laws may be adopted by a 2/3 majority of the voting members attending an in-person General Body meeting or through a ballot via a communication media as defined in section VI.
These Byelaws shall be effective after approved by general body.
These Byelaws shall be kept and maintained by the General Secretary. A copy of the Bye-Laws as amended or otherwise altered to date, certified by the General secretary which shall be open to the general public by way of SANA website and a copy will be made available to each member of the Association at the time of new membership and/or request.
X. Funds and Accounts
Funds of the Association shall be raised by:
Life Membership category (The funds received for Life Membership shall be set aside wards the establishment of a permanent Headquarters as stated in Article XI).
Annual subscriptions from Regular and Regular family categories.
Sales of Association productions and publications
Cultural exhibitions and social events.
The Association shall have the goal of ultimately establishing a permanent Headquarters in a central location in the future.
Treasurer shall operate the accounts of the Association and draw any amount of money with the approval of the Executive Council subject to the funds available.
The Financial Statements shall be audited once a year and will be available to the members for scrutiny every year.
The Treasurer, with the approval of the Executive Council, may transfer part of the funds to individual member of the Executive Council, any chapter or head of the sub-committee, as the need may be, for their own operating costs. This applies to funds collected as regular membership dues.
The fiscal year of the Association shall terminate on the 31st day of December in each year.
The Temporary Headquarters of the Association shall be located in any location as decided by the SANA Executive Council until a permanent office is established at a more central location with the approval of the Executive Council
XI Formation of Executive Council
Office of the Leadership Group shall be elected and/or approved by the General Body on or before December 31st of every second year of the Executive Council’s term.
The regional Secretaries will be elected by members from their respective regions at the same time as Executive Council is elected.
The Executive Council shall be responsible to conduct elections every two years.
The Executive Council may nominate a panel of candidates from the Advisory Council, or may seek nominations from General Body for these offices. All candidates must agree to accept the candidacy and if elected and/or approved to perform duties as required by these Bye-Laws and amendments made there to.
The Executive Council shall appoint the Chair of the Elections Commission on or before the 30th of July of the election year. The Commission Chair will appoint two (2) additional members of the commission with the consent of Executive Council.
The General Secretary after consulting the treasurer shall circulate a list of members whose dues are outstanding by 30th June of the Election year.
The cut-off date for voter eligibility will be 15th August of the election year. Only those members whose annual dues for the election year are paid and their membership form has been received (from new members) and accepted before this date will be eligible to vote in the SANA elections. Members who do meet this deadline will enjoy all other membership rights and privileges.
The list of eligible members to vote will be issued by 1st September of the election year.
The candidate nomination must be received by 15th September and the last date of nomination withdrawal will be 15th October of the election year. A member can only contest for one office.
The Election Commission after verification will prepare and circulate the final list of all eligible voters amongst all candidates on or before 21st October.
The Election Commission will distribute election ballots to the eligible members on or before 7th November with the return deadline on 10th December of the election year.
All ballots received by the Elections Commission on or before 10th December will be counted. After the ballot counting, the Commission will announce the results by 15th December of the election year.
The new Executive Council shall resume work from January 2nd of the following year.
The Election Commission will monitor the membership drive to determine the eligibility of each new member. Any candidate adopting to unbecoming practices that may artificially influence the outcome will be disqualified. The commission shall immediately circulate any complaint from any member amongst its members and the Executive Council upon it’s receipt. A two thirds majority vote of the Elections Commission is required for any disciplinary action.
This article defines the relationship between SANA chapters and the SANA central organization.
The chapters are defined by a formal association of at least five (5) SANA members in any city or region as approved by the Executive Council.
The local chapters will be free to decide on their own local organization structure and enact any procedural rules to address their unique requirements. However, such procedural rules must not be in the areas that are covered by the SANA Bye-Laws.
Chapters could register themselves as per the requirements of the laws of the land, but for all other purposes and in the interest of solidarity they will identify themselves as SANA without the addition of the country’s name.
The SANA Executive Council has the right to require an amendment or repeal of any chapter rules to maintain SANA as a unified organization of North American Sindhis.
The President shall approve all chapters after consulting with Executive Council.
All Chapters shall hold annual meetings and send report/s on their activities to the Executive Council.
XIII Code of ethics
1. EC will devise a code of conduct for all SANA members and office bearers. This code will be publicized on SANA lists, websites as well as via print media. All members must agree to abide by this code at the time of initial membership and renewal thereof. Any violation may lead to an inquiry and disciplinary action as per the recommendations of the Executive Council.
In case of dissolution of this Association, assets of the Association after satisfying all of its liabilities, shall be earmarked for the promotion of Sindhi Language and shall be given to any North American University(ies) and/or any other non-profit organizations in the world.
a. Will consist of three members and the editor of SANGAT for the duration of its term of office on the basis of their qualifications to produce and publish newsletters and other such publications and the willingness to serve.
b. This committee will also issue an updated directory (every election year) of all Sindhis residing in North America.
c. Members of the publication committee shall act as the members of SANGAT Editorial Board.
d. The editor shall function within the framework of the objectives of SANA and the policies laid down by the Executive Council.
e. The editor will be an Ex-Office member attending all Executive Council meetings but having no vote.
Sindh Liaison committee
a. This committee will be created to co- ordinate information, follow up on SANA resolutions, provide contact with NGOs etc in times of disasters etc. The members of this committee will also be active members of SANA.
b. Long term goal of this committee would be to develop a resource centre for Sindhis by providing information regarding scholarships, Standardized tests, admissions to foreign universities, jobs, help with immigration to foreign countries etc.
c. Executive Council will be responsible for forming any other permanent committee, per needs of the association.
d. All active members of SANA will be eligible to serve on any permanent committee of their choice, after approval by the EC.
Executive Council will be responsible for forming any other permanent committee, per needs of the association.
All active members of SANA will be eligible to serve on any permanent committee of their choice, after approval by the EC.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEOGRAPHER
AUTHORIZATION TO USE PHOTOGRAPHY AND/OR AUDIO VISUAL
By registering to Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) Conventions or Local organized events you are hereby authorize SANA (photographer/videographer). This gives SANA permission to use, reproduce and or publish photographs and/ or videos that may pertain to you or your invited guests. This also includes images, likeness and/ or voice without compensation. You understand that this material will be used for published on SANA website https://sanaonline.org website. It may be used in various publications, public affair releases, recruitment materials, broadcast public service advertising (PSAs) or for other related endeavors.
Description of the Material (Photo/Audio-Visual):
You have authorized photos and videos to be added on the sanaonline.org website. This authorization is continuous and may be withdrawn by your specific recession of this authorization.
You have authorized and understand that this material may also appear on the marketing material of SANA. This authorization is continuous and may also be withdrawn by your specific recession of this authorization. Consequently use of you in any manner that the SANA deems appropriate in order to promote/ publicize service opportunities. We really appreciate your support.
This agreement releases SANA from all liability relating to injuries that may occur during program activities, the respected location. By signing this agreement you agree to hold SANA entirely free from liability including; financial responsibility for injury occurred, regardless of whether injuries are cause by negligence.
By registering for the event you forfeit all rights to bring a suit against SANA any reason. You reserve right ti ask for clarification when needed.
Sindhi Association of North America
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