January 17th, 2009
Two Luminaries Honored for their Contributions to Sindhi Society
HOUSTON, TX and LONDON, UK, Two Sindhi luminaries, Abdul Wahid Areesar (59) of Umerkot, Sindh and Sunder Agnani (73) of Jaipur, India, were conferred with the prestigious ‘G. M. Syed Memorial Awards 2008’ in recognition of their contributions to Sindhi identity, culture and Sindhi Rights movement..
These awards were announced during the 105th Birthday Anniversary Commemoration of G M Syed, on 17th January 2009 in Houston , TX and London , UK . These awards are jointly sponsored by the World Sindhi Congress (WSC) and the G. M. Syed Memorial Committee, a Houston, TX-based educational group.
G. M. Syed Memorial Awards are conferred to honor the memory of Mr. Syed, a visionary leader who pioneered the Sindhi freedom movement and was a beacon of the Sindhi people’s struggle for national self-determination. Previous recipients include renowned Sindhi luminaries such as Keerat Babani of Mumbai, India; Ibrahim Joyo of Jamshoro, Sindh;Mr Sobho Gianchandani of Larkano; Mr. Mohan Gehani of Bhopal, India; Mr. Ghanshyam Hotumalani of Delhi, India, Motilal Jotwani of Delhi, India, Azad Kazi of Karachi, Khadim Hussain Soomro of Sehwan, Sindh and Dr Safdar Sarki of Texas, USA.
Abdul Wahid Areesar, political leader, intellectual, historian and writer was born in 1949 in a small village of Thar region in Sindh. Since 1972, he has held prominent and central leadership positions in Jeay Sindh (Sindh’s freedom party pioneered by Saeen G M Syed).
His activism for Sindhi national rights, his opposition to the military regime, and his support to Bangladeshi Liberation Movement have resulted in various acts of torture against him, including lashing, illegal detainment and solitary confinement.
His tremendous contributions through authoring more than 20 books, grassroot efforts and campaigning have inspired three generations of activists. He remained the most prominent intellectual and political companion to G. M. Syed. Furthermore, Mr. Areesar is author of “G.M. Syed”, an instrumental book that popularized Syed’s ideologies and inspired future generations.
He has lead influential campaigns against forced disappearances and political persecution, as well as for civil rights and environmental justice. Through his non-violent advocacy for human rights and national self-determination, Mr. Areesar continues to promote G.M Syed’s message of universal justice.
The G. M. Syed Memorial Award is bestowed on Mr. Areesar “in appreciation for his struggle and advocacy for national self-determination and freedom for Sindhi peoples and to recognize his literary works on Sindh and G M Syed.”
Sunder Agnani, playwright, cartoonist, poet and author who has dedicated his life to the promotion and preservation of Sindhi Language in India . Mr. Agnani, born in Sindh and later migrated to India , is a prolific author of 375 short stories, one act plays, essays, and articles published and broadcasted in newspaper, radio and television. His work captures the experience of Sindhi diaspora, migration and settlement. His work transcends linguistic barriers and has been translated into Hindi, English, and Urdu.
Mr. Agnani is the recipient of numerous regional and national literary awards, including Best Sindhi Literature Award granted by Rajasthan Sindhi Akademi (1998), Short Story Book Award from the Government of India Ministry of Education (1999) and the Dada Vaswani Award by the Sindhu Welfare Society (2002).
Since the early 60s, Mr. Agnani has continued to promote Sindhi language and identity through his leadership roles in various organizations, seminars and workshops. Currently, he is the President of Akhil Bharat Sindhi Boli Ain Sahit Sabha in Bombay .
The G. M. Syed Memorial Award is bestowed on Mr Agnani in appreciation for his life-long struggle for the preservation and promotion of Sindhi language and literature in India through literature and grass-root campaigning.