I would like to draw the attention of concerned authorities towards the launching of Encyclopedia Sindhiana through your reputable newspaper.
The Sindhi Language Authority has recently released the second volume of Encyclopedia Sindhiana in the market which is part of its efforts to bring out the first-ever comprehensive encyclopaedia of the Sindhi language.
A well-known intellectual, Prof Dr Fahmida Hussain, is its editor-in-chief whereas another literary figure, Taj Joyo, is its editor. Nevertheless, consultation and guidance were provided by two well-known intellectuals, Mohammad Ibrahim Joyo and Prof Dr Ghulam Ali Allana.
The encyclopaedia was conceived and its blueprint prepared by the late poet Dr Tanveer Abbasi a few years back but it plans could not materialise earlier. However, the encyclopaedia is dedicated to him.
The second volume consists of 2,571 entries, based on six letters of the Sindhi alphabet in addition to 323 entries included as addenda for the first volume. It consists of 728 pages with good printing on art paper. The price of the second volume is Rs 1000 only.
The first volume, having about 3,500 entries based on the first three letters of the Sindhi alphabet, has already been published. The first volume consists of 650 pages and was priced at Rs750 only.
Nevertheless, 80 per cent entries in Encyclopaedia Sindhiana are related to Sindh, such as personalities, places, flora, fauna, archaeological sights, other life forms, tribes, castes, beliefs, rituals and rites, culture, civilisation, language, dialects, literature and fine arts, and 20 per cent entries are about the rest.
We hope the authorities will accomplish this task soon. However, we must appreciate the efforts of the Sindhi Language Authority in general without hesitation. No doubt, there is always room for improvement. Once the entire set of the encyclopaedia has been printed, it will not be too difficult to keep updating it from time to time.
No doubt, the Encyclopaedia Sindhiana will widely be used for reference and educational purposes. Let us hope that the Sindh government would continue supporting this project till its completion.
SARAH MAZHAR KHAN