Asha Chand

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Asha Chand
Asha Chand on DD Girnar

Born of illustrious parents who made their mark in Sindhi literature, Asha Chand seems to have been born with "Sindhi Silver Spoon" in her mouth, with her childhood steeped in the culture, the arts and above all undying love for Sindhi language and culture.

Asha's parents ensured she received formal instruction in music, dance and drama. Asha completed her M.A in Sindhi from Jai hind College, Bombay and pursued a career in banking and finance with Bank Of India.

Being the daughter of award-winning parents, Asha's soul was restless as she knew she had a bigger purpose in life. In 1992, she took on the task of publishing the unprinted works of her mother Sundri Uttamchandani, winner of the Sahitya Academy Award as well as recipient of Gaurav Puraskar. Under the banner of Jai Sindhi Publications, Asha was able to bring to the market several books in Sindhi including a collection of her mother's short stories. Also an audio tape 'Hugao', a collection of poems written by her mother was released as a birthday present to her in year 1992.

Under the guidance and company of well known Sindhi laureates like Dr. Moti Prakash, Kala Prakash and Mohan Gehani in Dubai she worked on a Video documentary of famous literary figures, most deserving writers who made it possible for Sindhi language to be recognised in the 8th schedule of the constitution. It was titled Sindhi Sahit Ji Timurti and released in 2000. This was Asha's pioneering step in audio visual media to promote the Sindhi language and culture.

Consumed by a missionary zeal to propagate the slowly fading Sindhi language she is also a 'master of ceremonies' par excellence, having demonstrated her anchoring skills in International Sammelan in Orlando and Los Angeles etc.

Convinced that the world of entertainment was the right chord to strike to propagate one's language, she soon started own brand of entertainment in Dubai. One of her first programs was a 2 day ABIDA PARVEEN concert in 2001 which was a grand success. For the past 14 years, her annual cultural shows are earmarked on the social calendar by the Sindhi community in Dubai. Featuring Sindhi artists from Hind and Sindh, her shows are memorable extravaganzas. Asha believes that entertainment is a subtle medium to involve the younger generation in a fun ambience while teaching them subtle nuances about their own culture and language as well.

During past 14 years, Asha's inexorable spirit prompted her to explore the modern world of computers for promoting Sindhi. Her pioneering CD-ROM "Let's Learn Sindhi" which teaches in simple, easy step by step method how to learn the language earned her widespread commendation. Supported by Dr. Satish Rohra of Indian Institute of Sindhology, and sponsored by 15 International associations the CD was released in 2003 by Dada Jashan Vaswani. She then went on to compile and release another CD ROM Panchtantra stories for children in Sindhi and English.

Currently, she is working on an important literary oriented project jointly with Mr. Kamlesh Moorjani and the Indian Institute of Sindhology is the "Pahakas & Isthillah" CD ROM, having compiled hundreds of maxims and proverbs that are central to the Sindhi culture and that encapsulate timeless pearls of wisdom. Here too, her objective was to record the treasure house of wisdom contained in such age old aphorisms. Though such work does not bring her commercial gains, she feels someone must walk the unbeaten path and bequeath the rich treasure to posterity.

Not resting with her laurels of publishing books, anchoring, staging shows, creating CD-ROMs, Asha felt that video world can be a boost to promote Sindhi. In 2006 she made her first telefilm which in turn led to starting her own TV Program "Sindhi Surhaan" in 2007, which continues to be telecast till today on DD Gujarati and on DD India.

This has also made Asha a television film producer. Till date she has produced over 25 Sindhi telefilms / tele serials which apart from being broadcast on Doordarshan in India and KTN in Sindh, they are also available for free downloading from the Sindhi Sangat web site.

Aside from her individual efforts, Asha actively brought together like-minded notable Sindhis and formed a non-profit organisation, 'Sindhi Sangat' in the year 2000. The organisation has done laudable work by uploading audio and video songs and dances, press releases and event reports on its website along with some information about the Sindhi heritage and culture.

The Sindhyat movement that was initiated by her parents has come a long way due to Asha's undying commitment and zest to save the Sindhi language. Asha firmly believes that Sindhi is part of a global heritage as it has sprung from the entrails of the most ancient civilization known to man as The Indus Valley Civilization . The advanced urban civilization of the people who lived in Sindh 5,000 years ago is taught in history lessons till today. Losing the language spawned on this land is like losing a part of one's precious heritage. 'Even old buildings rich in architecture are protected by heritage laws, so why not preserve a language that is rich in its history and literature!' she says.

For past 3 years, Asha has been virtually waging a war with the Government of India to set up/run a dedicated Sindhi TV channel. Enthuses Asha, Sindhis are a stateless community with no designated place to call their own. Hence a TV channel will mitigate the rootless feeling and bring together the Sindhi Diaspora through satellite technology.'

Asha's commitment and clarity of intent has earned her the enviable reputation of the "Sindhi Iron Lady". Fortunately, her husband for over 35 years, Mr. Chand Punjabi, too is a true lover of Sindhi language and culture and has been her pillar of strength offering his unequivocal support at all times. She is constantly appreciative of her daughter Moomal who has been her right hand for many years. Outside of her family, she copiously praises the founders of the Sindhi Sangat and the business community who has always supported her efforts.

Asha Chand Interview on Mehran TV during her visit to Sindh in 2013