As a result of separatist
turmoil and many years of bloodshed, Sindhis in
India do not have an exclusive state in which
they are free to live. This community of people
can be found all over the country and most are
living in poverty stricken areas.
Born of concern, Sunshine Trust
was established to lend a helping hand to these
members of the Indian community. And out of respect
for the Indian value of family and community,
the Trust was established to bridge the economic
gap that divides the community and build a closer
relationship amongst a population that has left
its mark in the history of education, literature,
administration and politics.
On a visit to ensure that the
education funds donated by his family were reaching
the appropriate recipients, Mr. B.H. Melwani was
made aware of the sufferings of Sindhis living
Although it was a good idea
to educate the children, he was told there were
Sindhis who were unable to afford last rites for
deceased members of their families, much less
medication for those who were ill. He was also
told that although hospitals, children homes,
and temples were being built, the urgent help
needed by the poor were being overlooked.
After his visit, Mr. Melwani
was confident that with the help of affluent Sindhis
living overseas, those who are less fortunate
could be relieved of their sufferings.
On January 11, 1994, a meeting was held at the
Oberoi Hotel in Bombay, India. Present were Dr.
Ramchand Bulchand, Mr. J.M. Chanrai, Dr. Prakash
Mirchandani, Mr. B.H. Melwani, and Mr. G.V. Melvani.
During the meeting, the group
discussed ways to involve affluent members of
the Sindhi community who are residing overseas,
to help those living in poverty in their homeland
At the meeting it was decided
that an Overseas Sunshine Group would be established.
The objectives of the Sunshine Group would be
- Assist Sindhi families at
the time of an emergency, especially those who
are victims of a sudden catastrophe. This includes
medical emergencies, last rites and cremation
for deceased family members, as well as restoring
roofs that were destroyed because of natural
- Assist those seeking to be
self-sufficient. This includes the donation
of handcarts, sewing machines, bicycles, and
other equipment that would help Sindhis earn
At the meeting it was agreed
that Mr. Melvani would look after applications
and correspondence, and Dr. Mirchandani, on behalf
of Mr. Chanrai, would look after the accounts.
Those present would be known as the Bombay Trustees.
Following the meeting, a number
of overseas Sindhis began to participate and contribute
funds toward the works of the Group. Since the
organisation was clearly and transparently committed
to providing immediate help to Sindhis living
in poverty, a growing number of overseas Sindhis
eagerly supported the Group.
At the end of 1995, Mr. Melvani
resigned due to health reasons and was replaced
by Mr. Lekhraj Pohoomal.
In August 1997, to formalise
the works of the Group, who were keen to commit
their activities on a permanent basis, Sunshine
Trust was registered in Bhopal, India.
In March 1999, the Trust received
80G (exemption of Income Tax for donors).
Though the original objective
was to offer a ‘helping hand’, at
the meeting in January 1999, it was decided that
the new and improved objective would be to help
raise the living standard of Sindhis, hence reduce
the number of Sindhis living in poverty.