A top Hindu body in the US has raised over USD 130,000 during an annual fund-raising event here during which a range of key issues like H1B visas and immigration reforms affecting the Indian-American community were highlighted.
Leading figures from the government and civil society spoke to highlight the issues surrounding Hindus in America at the event organised by Hindu American Foundation (HAF), a non-profit advocacy organisation for the Hindu American community, on Saturday.
In his keynote address, Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi praised HAF's initiatives like changing California textbooks to accurately represent Hindus and stopping revocation of H1B visa extensions, preventing deportation of 700,000 Indian nationals from the US.
He also stressed on the need to get involved in public affairs.
"Registering to vote and voting ensures that your voice is heard and you have a proverbial seat at the table when important decisions affecting you are made," Krishnamoorthi said.
He said at present there were only four Hindu-American congressmen.
"We need more Hindu-Americans. Doesn't matter from what party as at the end of the day we are Hindu-Americans. We are people of faith and we can live our faith in different ways, just get involved," he said.
"I am proud of every letter in my name and proud of every letter in your names. What distinguishes us is ahimsa, dharma, bhakti, sewa, vasudhaiva kutumbakam. These principles are timeless and important for the way we should be conducting ourselves," he said.
Important issues like pushing for a solution to the green card backlog, H1B visa and immigration reforms, working to counteract anti-Hindu bullying in schools and advocating for gun violence prevention measures were highlighted at the event.
At the gala, HAF gave Sewa International Houston Chapter "Pride of the Community" award for its relief and recovery work during and after the devastating Hurricane Harvey that hit the state of Texas last August.
HAF's three areas of focus are education, policy, and community. Through its advocacy efforts, HAF promotes dignity, mutual respect, and pluralism to ensure the well-being of Hindus and all others, said Rishi Bhutada, HAF Houston Chapter coordinator.
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