Back to the roots. Asha Chand reckons there are over 25,000 Indian Sindhis in the UAE Image Credit: Sharmila Dhal/XPRESS

Dubai: An Indian expat with a strong connect to her roots is going all out to revive the language, literature and culture of her native Sindhi community, especially among the younger generations.

Dubai-based Asha Chand, who reckons there are over 25,000 Indian Sindhis in the UAE, said a group of volunteers under the umbrella of the Sindhi Sangat had been assiduously promoting the use of the Sindhi language over the past 16 years through various initiatives, including the launch of a dedicated language app and website and the hosting of several plays and competitions.

She said the group’s latest production, a play called Peeu Hairaan Putu Pareshaan to be staged at Shaikh Rashid Auditorium on November 25, is an adaptation of a popular Gujarati play which has been performed 187 times all over the world.

“We are bringing the celebrated Nu Academy’s hot comedy play to Dubai as it has a universal and timeless theme of the quest for true love. The play marks the 17th year of the annual entertainment event for the Sindhi community.”

Sindhi script

She said the main effort is to encourage the community to speak in and understand their mother tongue. To revive the use of the forgotten Sindhi script, Chand said she had developed a “Learn Sindhi” app and website which was free to download and use.

“The app is very user-friendly and has specific modules focused on the alphabets, their pronunciation and their usage in simple sentences.”

Games and activities

She said as an incentive, the app also includes games and activities which encourage users to play and score. “Anyone who has achieved a score of 12,000 points qualifies to enter a draw on November 25 when three lucky winners will be announced.”

She said from December 11, volunteers would reach out to schools in small towns across India to launch a tell-a-story competition in Sindhi.

“This will encourage students to not only speak in Sindhi, but also act. It would give them the necessary exposure to videography and overcome shyness.”