Constitution & Bye Laws

I. Preface

The Constitution and its bye laws are intended to regulate the activities of the Association. It defines clearly the specific purpose of the Association, duties and responsibilities of its members and office holders.

1. The name of this secular, nonprofit association shall be SINDHI ASSOCIATION OF NORTH AMERICA.

2. For legal purposes, the association may be registered as per the law of the land. However, for general communications it will be referred to as SANA.

3. Membership eligibility criteria: Anyone who;

a) has roots in SINDH, or has roots in an area where Sindhi or its dialect is spoken, or speaks Sindhi or one of its dialects.

b) Supports the preservation and growth of The Sindhi civilization, culture and language.

c) Supports the legitimate rights and aspirations of the Sindhi people.

II. Objectives

1. To create a sense of brotherhood, cooperation and cohesion amongst Sindhis living in North America.

2. To endeavor for, and defend the historic national rights, including human rights, and rights of self-determination of Sindhi people within their existing national territory.

3. To promote contact with Sindhis living in different parts of the world, cooperate for common goals and purposes with their organizations.

4. To inform, educate and create awareness among Sindhis and non-Sindhis alike about the Sindhi peoples’ way of life and civilization; values and philosophy; language and literature; music and culture; history and heritage; arts and architecture; and rights and interests, and to work to preserve and promote a constructive evolution of the same.

5. To work and cooperate with other individuals and organizations for human rights, social justice, world peace, cultural tolerance, international brotherhood, global disarmament, the eradication of world hunger, poverty and disease, and conservation of ecology. 6. To play a positive role representing Sindhi community in North America in various cultural and social events

III. Methods

1. By establishing educational and informational resources on every aspect of Sindh and Sindhis.

2. By promoting cultural activities to preserve our heritage using all necessary means available to the Association.

3. By organizing regular gatherings to promote a sense of identity amongst Sindhis of different walks of life or the development of mechanisms to achieve the goals of this organization.

4. By networking and cooperating with similar institutions all over the world to create an international friendship of Sindhis.

5. By keeping the people and relevent authorities informed of the events affecting Sindh and Sindhis around the world.

6. By providing necessary humanitarian, scientific and technological resources to Sindh and the Sindhi institutes in any way possible.

7. By targeting resources towards humanitarian purposes such as relief efforts, educational programs, preservation of culture, historic landmarks and archeological sites; protection of race and endangered species, prevention of cruelty to children and animals, protection against domestic violence and gender discrimination particularly as regards to Sindh and Sindhi people. 8. By holding meetings, rallies, cultural shows, parades, seminars and fairs to project the culture of Sindhi people through Sindhi folk music and dramas.

IV. Membership

The association shall consist of:

1. Life member (individual or husband and wife)

2. Regular Members with individual and family sub categories

3. Student Members with individual and family sub categories.

4. Associate Members

5. Honorary Members

IV (1). Life Member All members residing anywhere in North America by payment of the life membership fee can become life members of the Association. Life Members shall have the same privileges as enjoyed by regular members. IV (2). Regular Members

1. All Sindhis residing anywhere in North America by payment of the annual fee can become regular members of the association.

2. Regular Members shall have the right to vote, nominate candidates and be eligible to hold any office of the association.

3. Membership in this category will be valid for 12 months from the first day of July 1st through June 31st of the next year, regardless of when the dues have been paid. Membership will be renewed every July 1st.

IV (3). Honorary Members

1. Distinguished persons who support the aims and objectives of the Association irrespective of their nationality can be invited by the Executive Council to become Honorary Members.The members in this category will maintain their membership unless terminated by EC for cause.

2. Any member (s) of other category(ies) can recommend these nominations for membership of this category to the Executive Council for consideration.

3. These member (s) shall pay no fees and enjoy no voting and/or election rights. They may, however, be appointed to any special purpose committees. IV

(4). Individual and Family Members

1. These sub categories are available only to regular members and student members.

2. For the purpose of the SANA membership, the "Family Membership" is defined to consist of wife, husband and their children who are below 18 years of age and reside in North America. In case of a family membership, both spouses shall have all membership rights and privileges including voting and election rights. The dependent children may enjoy all other rights and privileges.

3. In case of Student Family Membership, the head of the household need only be a full time student to qualify his/her family for the membership.

IV(7).

IV (5). Active and Inactive Membership

1. Active and Inactive Membership

2. Any member except an honorary member or life member who ceases to pay annual membership fee shall be considered as an inactive member. 3. An inactive member will lose all the rights and privileges of membership.

4. An inactive member will be removed from the Association if inactivity persists for more than two consecutive years.

5. The Executive Council may consider extensions in the period of inactivity on case by case basis.

V. EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

The affairs of the Association shall be conducted by an Executive Council, elected by the General Body; only Regular, Life and nominated for the Executive Council Offices.

The Executive Council shall consist of:

1. President

2. Two Vice Presidents. One each from Canada and USA. All members of SANA will vote for each of these positions.

3. Vice President Women Affairs

4. Vice President Youth Affairs

5. General Secretary

6. Joint Secretary

7. Information Secretary

8. Treasurer

The Executive Council Officers are to hold offices for two years and for a maximum of only two consecutive terms on the same post. If unable to find suitable candidates, then EC may nominate a person by mutual consensus.

Executive Council shall have the right to accept/reject any request/application for membership with cause and appoint honorary members.

The General Body can approve/disapprove any decision of the Executive Council by a simple majority vote of the active members. A joint session of the Executive Council shall be held in or about the month of January each year. In this meeting, the President shall present a draft plan of activities for that year. The proposed plan and the annual budget of expenditures and revenues will be discussed and adopted by the Executive Council. The president will be responsible for implementing the plan.

A member of the Executive Council shall not make any representation or issue a political statement on behalf of SANA either in favor or against any political party or a group without prior consent of the Executive Council.

Each member of the Executive Council will submit a progress/status report at the annual SANA general body meeting and will answer any questions asked by SANA members.

V(a) President

1. Shall preside over all of the Executive Council meetings.

2. Will represent the Association alone or with the Vice President or the General Secretary at all times.

3. Shall have the powers to form subcommittees and assign necessary tasks to them.

4. Shall issue quarterly status reports about SANAs affairs in the months of March, June, September and December.

5. Shall be responsible to present a draft plan of activities and implement the approved plan as per the provisions of Clause 8 under Article V. Any deviations from the plan must be approved by the Executive Council.

6. Shall be responsible for the formulation and articulation of SANA policies as approved by the Executive Council.

V(b) Vice President

1. Shall be responsible for smooth running of SANA affairs in his/her region

2. Shall be responsible for liaison with Sindhi and other like-minded organizations.

V(c) Vice President Women Affairs

1. Shall take up all Vice President's responsibilities in his/her absence removed

2. Shall be responsible for initiating and implementing SANA programs that aim at increasing the empowerment of Sindhi women.

3. She will also provide incentives to increase women participation in SANA

4. Will form a part of Senate

5. Will represent SANA women in all EC meetings, gatherings, seminars as well as in meetings with like minded organizations

6. All SANA members will elect secretary women affairs.

V(d) General Secretary

1. Shall conduct all the correspondence and be a focal point of correspondence within the Association.

2. Shall be responsible for legal affairs and day to day business of the Association in general and Executive Council in particular including production and distribution of the Bye-Laws of the Association, preparation of Status reports, preparation of agenda/minutes delete of the meeting of the Executive Council and General Body etc.

3. Shall maintain all files and records that may be necessary for the Association.

4. Shall send welcoming letters to new members, along with SANA bye-laws, code of ethics and recent publications.

5. Shall call extra ordinary meeting of Executive Council if requested by 33% or more members of the Executive Council.

V(e) Joint Secretary

1. Shall take up all General Secretary responsibilities in his/her absence.

2. Shall be responsible for establishing ties with cultural and literary organizations in Sindh and around the world.

3. Shall be responsible for enhancing membership of SANA

V(f) Information Secretary

1. Shall be responsible for keeping, updating and distribution of the directory of the members of the Association.

2. Shall gather information, maintain contacts with information resources and disseminate information to the members on the regular basis.

3. Shall promote objectives of the Association and be in charge of audio visual and print activities of the Association.

4. Shall record and circulate proceedings /minutes of the meetings of the Association bodies and their activities.

5. Shall plan, initiate, maintain information and journalistic contacts with general media, like-minded organizations, institutions, interested individuals etc.

6. Shall head an "Information and Publication committee" appointed by him/her with the approval of the President.

7. Shall be a moderator of Sanalist

V(g) Treasurer

1. Shall oversee and supervise the function of the official accounting firm of the association

2. Monitor the financial health of the organization.

3. Will prepare annual budget of the association, including expenditures and revenues for the whole year. Will present this and have this approved by the Executive Council.

4. Shall present the annual financial at the General Body Meeting during the annual convention.

5. Shall be responsible for the transfer of any funds, with the approval of the Executive Council, as required on behalf of the Association.

6. Shall send annual fee reminders to all SANA members and send a list of defaulters to the President for follow up.

7. The association will contract with a registered accounting firm, to prepare and maintain all accounts of the Association including receipts of all memberships, donations etc., and keep a record of all expenses.

8. The accounting Firm shall be responsible for preparing annual accounts and auditing of the account reports.

9. Will arrange to send a portion of the membership fees to the chapters, per agreement between the Executive Council and relevant each chapter.

V(i) Vice President Youth Affairs

1. Shall be 18 to 25 years of age

2. Will be elected by all SANA members

3. Will represent youth during all EC meetings

4. Will provide leadership for younger members of SANA. 5. Will work towards improving youth participation in the affairs of SANA.

6. Provide awareness to SANA youth regarding their Sindhi roots.

7. Will recommend age related activities during individual chapter events as well as during annual conventions.

V(j) Council of Past Presidents

1. Will be responsible for all grievance/conflict resolution

2. Provide input in the formation of Election commission

3. Implementation of code of ethics

VI. Permanent Committees

Publication Committee:

1. Will consist of three members and the editor of SANGAT for the duration of its term of office on the basis of their qualifications to produce and publish newsletters and other such publications and the willingness to serve.

2. This committee will also issue an updated directory (every election year) of all Sindhis residing in North America

3. Members of the publication committee shall act as the members of SANGAT Editorial Board.

4. The editor shall function within the framework of the objectives of SANA and the policies laid down by the Executive Council.

Sindh Liaison committee:

1. This committee will be created to co- ordinate information, follow up on SANA resolutions, provide contact with NGOs etc in times of disasters etc. The members of this committee will also be active members of SANA.

2. Long term goal of this committee would be to develop a resource centre for Sindhis by providing information regarding scholarships, Standardized tests, admissions to foreign universities, jobs, help with immigration to foreign countries etc.

3. Executive Council will be responsible for forming any other permanent committee, per needs of the association.

4. All active members of SANA will be eligible to serve on any permanent committee of their choice, after approval by the EC.

VII. Elections:

1. The Executive Council shall appoint the Chair of the Elections Commission on or before the 30th of July of the election year.

2. The Commission Chair will then appoint two (2) additional members of the commission with the consent of Executive Council.

3. The cut-off date for voter eligibility will be August 15th of the election year. Only those members whose annual dues for the election year are paid and their membership form has been received and accepted before this date will be eligible to vote in the SANA elections. Members who do not meet this deadline will continue to enjoy all other membership rights and privileges.

4. The list of eligible voters will be issued by 1st September of the election year.

5. The candidate nomination must be received by 15th September and the last date of nomination withdrawal will be 15th October of the election year. A member can only contest for one office at a time.

6. The Election Commission after verification will prepare and circulate the final list of all eligible voters amongst all candidates on or before 21st October.

7. The Election Commission will distribute election ballots to the eligible members on or before 7th November with the return deadline on 15th December of the election year.

8. All ballots received by the Elections Commission on or before 15th December will be counted. After the ballot counting, the Commission will announce the results by 20th December of the election year.

9. The new Executive Council shall resume work from January 2nd of the following year.

10. The Election Commission will monitor the membership drive to determine the eligibility of each new member. Any candidate resorting to unbecoming practices that may artificially influence the outcome will be disqualified. The commission shall take immediate notice of any complaint of irregularity and conduct inquiry and provide remedy either directly or in consultation with EC. A two-thirds majority vote of the Elections Commission is required for any disciplinary action.

VIII. General Body

1. Shall consist of members of all categories, but only those who have the voting and election rights can participate in passing of any resolution/decision by the General Body to approve, reject, or alter the activities of the Association as carried out by the Executive Council.

2. Shall meet at least once every year during the term of Executive Council, in person or via any communication medium to set guidelines, approve actions of the Executive Council and discuss views of the membership.

3. An eight week notice shall be required for a General Body meeting except in case of an emergency.

4. Quorum for an in-person meeting shall be 33% of the total active membership and 40% of the total active membership for a non "in-person" meeting except in case of emergency.

5. Members unable to attend the General Body meeting can proxy another member to attend and vote on his/her behalf.

6. The decisions/resolutions of the General Body shall be passed by a simple majority vote of the members attending and shall be binding on the membership and the executive council.

IX. Amendments

1. Quorum for an amendment to the Bye laws shall be at least 50% of the total active membership.

2. These Bye laws may be amended or replaced and new Bye-Laws may be adopted by a 2/3 majority of the voting members attending an in-person General Body meeting or through a ballot via a communication media as defined in section VI.

X. By-Laws

1. These Byelaws shall be effective after approved by general body.

2. These Byelaws shall be kept and maintained by the General Secretary. A copy of the Bye-Laws as amended or otherwise altered to date, certified by the General secretary which shall be open to the general public by way of SANA website and a copy will be made available to each member of the Association at the time of new membership and/or request.

XI. Funds and Accounts

XI (a) Funds of the Association shall be raised by:

1. Life Member (individual or husband and wife), categories if any and fees determined by EC. (The funds received for Life Membership shall be set aside towards the establishment of a permanent Headquarters as stated in Article X).

2. Annual subscription per following schedule in US Dollars a. Regular Individual Member (fees as determined by EC) b. Regular Family (fees as determined by EC) c. Student Individual Member (fees as determined by EC) d. Student Family Member (fees as determined by EC) e. Associate Member (fees as determined by EC)

3. Donations

4. Sales of Association productions and publications 5. Cultural exhibitions and social events.

6. The Association shall have the goal of ultimately establishing a permanent Headquarters in a central location in the future.

7. Association may approve setting up branches or chapters in the various regions of North America; these will, however, always work under the supervision of the Executive Council.

X1 (b) Accounts

1. Treasurer shall operate the accounts of the Association and draw any amount of money with the approval of the Executive Council subject to the funds available.

2. The Financial Statements shall be audited once a year and will be available to the members for scrutiny every year.

3. The Treasurer, with the approval of the Executive Council, may transfer part of the funds to individual member of the Executive Council, any chapter or head of the sub-committee, as the need may be, for their own operating costs. This applies to funds collected as regular membership dues.

4. The fiscal year of the Association shall terminate on the 31st day of December in each year.

XII. Headquarters

1. The Temporary Headquarters of the Association shall be located in Los Angles, California until a permanent office is established at a more central location with the approval of the Executive Council

XIII. Chapters

A new article which defines the relationship between SANA chapters and the SANA central organization is being added to encourage formation of SANA chapters and allow flexibility in their operation.

1. The chapters are defined by a formal association of at least five (5) SANA members in any city or region as approved by the Executive Council.

2. The local chapters will be free to decide on their own local organization structure and enact any procedural rules to address their unique requirements. However, such procedural rules must not be in the areas that are covered by the SANA Bye-Laws.

3. Chapters could register themselves as per the requirements of the laws of the land, but for all other purposes and in the interest of solidarity they will identify themselves as SANA without the addition of the country’s name

4. The SANA Executive Council has the right to require an amendment or repeal of any chapter rules to maintain SANA as a unified organization of North American Sindhis.

5. The President shall approve all chapters after consulting with Executive Council

6. All Chapters shall hold annual meetings and send report/s on their activities to the Executive Council.

XIV. Code of ethics:

EC will devise a code of conduct for all SANA members and office bearers. This code will be publicized on SANA lists, websites as well as via print media. All members must agree to abide by this code at the time of initial membership and renewal thereof. Any violation may lead to an inquiry and disciplinary action as per the recommendations of the Executive Council

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