Tue, 16 Aug 2022

Washington [US], July 1 (ANI): After a long wait to reach out to the members of the Sindhi minority community in Pakistan, Voice of America, this week, launched a new webpage in the Sindhi language (voasindhi.com), under VOA's Urdu broadcasting service.

Voice of America's Urdu Service has been broadcasting to Pakistan since 1952 and reaches over 6 million people every week. With reference to Voice of America's global services, after the addition of Sindhi language, the number of Voice of America listeners and viewers in Pakistan will increase further.

The Sindhi language is mostly spoken in the South and East region of Pakistan, where the number of speakers in South Asia is over 35 million. The content of the new language webpage will cover global news, current affairs, science, technology, women's issues and education as well as issues of bilateral relations between the US and the South Asian region and its population.

Yolanda Lopez, Acting Director of Voice of America, explains that the new service will provide Sindhi speakers with the important news and information they need, as well as help tell the story of America in the region.

According to the press release, after the promotion of the Sindhi language, Voice of America is now broadcasting in 48 languages, nine of which are spoken in the South and Central Asia region.

Earlier, Congressman Brad Sherman urged US State Secretary Antony Blinken to direct the US radio broadcaster to start a Sindhi language programming to reach out to the members of the Sindhi community in Pakistan.

The Congressman said that they have tried to convince the Voice of America (VOA) for the move however, they ignored all the offers including financial offers. Showing solidarity with the Sindhi community in Pakistan, on April 6, the Sindhi Foundation showed The Long Walk Documentary in a private screening to US members of Congress and staff at the US Capitol.

Sherman supported "Long Walk' or "Long March" from New York City to Washington DC by Sindhi Foundation, covering a distance of more than 350 miles on foot to draw attention to issues like enforced disappearances, the plight of Sindhi women in Pakistan and climate change.

"I was pleased to meet with leaders of the Sindh community. We discussed issues such as enforced disappearances in Sindh Pakistan. We also discussed the need to reach out to Sindhis in their own language and my efforts to establish a Sindhi language service at the @VOANews," tweeted Brad Sherman.

"The Sindhi Foundation Long Walk for Freedom, April 7 - 29, from the UN in NYC to DC, will draw attention to issues like enforced disappearances and climate change," Sherman said through his tweet.

Members of the Sindhi community, a minority from Pakistan staged a protest under the US-based Sindhi Foundation to raise awareness for human rights violations and climate change.Titled 'Long Walk for Freedom, Nature, and Love', is a demonstration that will cut through five US states: Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.

The idea of the Long Walk stems from the appalling realities of the Southeastern Province of Pakistan- Sindh. Issues such as enforced disappearances, the plight of Sindhi women in Pakistan, environmental problems in Sindh, and even something as basic as water have been some of the major concerns for the people of Sindh for decades, including those who live away from home in exile, including a Sindhi activist based in Washington DC, who is also the person behind the Long Walk.

Earlier, Sindhi-American activist Fatima Gul highlighted the plight of Sindhi people in Pakistan and said there is no value of minorities in the country as anyone can violate their rights, especially women."Anyone can abduct us, rape us, and violate our rights. Anyone can force us into marriages, into a lifetime of sexual slavery, and even brutally kill us," Gul said during the 49th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. (ANI)

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