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HYDERABAD: For the first time since the inception of the country, the Sindh culture department has posthumously honoured with Latif Award, German philologist Ernest Trumpp who was the first to compile Shah jo Risalo in 1866 and write a book on Sindhi grammar.

Sindh Minister for Food Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, who gave away awards to writers, artists and others for best performance in their respective fields on the third day of the 273rd Urs celebrations of great Sufi poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai at Cultural Centre in Bhitshah on Friday, said that Sindh Minister for Culture Syed Sardar Ali Shah would travel to Germany to present the award to the late scholar’s family.

Ernest Trumpp, a German philologist (March 13, 1828 –April 5, 1885), was sent to pre-partitioned India in 1854 as a missionary by the Ecclesiastical Mission Society to study languages of India and prepare their grammars for use by Christian missionaries. He authored during his stay in India the first book on Sindhi grammar and compiled Shah Jo Risalo in 1866 A.D. Trumpp named his compilation Diwan when he edited and had it published in Leipzig, Germany.

Sindh Minister for Culture Syed Sardar Ali Shah said that either he would travel to Germany or the late scholar’s family would be invited to Sindh after the German consulate traced them.

“Trumpp compiled the poetry and took it to Germany with him where he got it published. He then brought it back in book form to Sindh. The original Shah jo Risalo is preserved at the Cultural Centre in Bhitshah,” he said.

The minister said that he would meet German consul general to decide the modalities of the visit. In fact, he said, German consul general was to attend the 273rd Urs celebrations but he did not get security clearance on account of Shah Noorani terrorist incident. The naming of Excellence Centre in Bhitshah after H.T. Sorley was a tribute to the scholar’s service as Bhita’s was interpreter, he said.

He said that the department was planning to erect a statute of Shah Bhitai in Karaar before the next Urs and hopefully the work on the statue would be completed by then.

Mai Dhai received the best performance award in the field of folk singing, Hameed Akhund was conferred with the award for his decades long service to culture and message of Bhitai, Karam Hussain was given the award for the best musician, Ali Gul for being the best sughar and Madad Ali Jat received the award for being the best ragi of Bhitai.

In additional categories of awards, Prof Ghulam Mohammad Lakho, Abdul Qadir Junejo, Dr Ahsan Danish also received awards. Roshan Ali Sheikh was given special Latif award for producing stage drama gul chhino girnar jo.

Sindh ministers Syed Sardar Ali Shah, Mohammad Ali Malkani, Nasir Hussain Shah, special assistant to chief minister Dr Sikandar Shoro, Ghulam Shah Jilani, secretary culture Ghulam Akbar Leghari, Hyderabad Divisional Commissioner Qazi Shahid Pervez, DIG Khadim Hussain Rind, Matiari deputy commissioner Pervez Ahmed Baloch, Matiari SSP Malik Zafar Awan were present at the awards distribution ceremony.

Bhitshah press club president Gul Hassan Rajput also received a shield for best media coverage while Dr Ali Akbar Soomro, Hafiz Abdul Hakeem Memon, Haji Bashir Abrejo, Haji Ghulam Nabi Rahu were given trophies for organising the best agro-industrial exhibition, dates display and for rearing the best cow with 15kg and best buffalo with 33kg milk production, respectively.

Published in Dawn, November 19th, 2016