EKAL Fund Raiser Program, Pittsburgh – Community Awareness presentation
– Sanjay Mehta
Friday April 7, 2017
I am going to share something with you now which is as important to us as EKAL prog. Ekal connects us to our ancestral heritage, identity, cultural values of Bharat. We have brought those culture values from Bharat to America. It is important for us here in America to protect and preserve these values, our dignity, self-respect and of course our safely.
There have been some hostile and unfriendly incidences happened with some of our community members. A software engineer Srinivas was shot to death in Kansas. One of our Sikh brothers was shot in his own driveway in Seattle. While incidents do not necessarily make a trend, we need to address them, tackle them as they happened and with the help of local law authority. On the positive note, in all incidences, our community received needed support from local law enforcement authority, US and Indian governments.
For some of us these are just handful or small %, but for 30 years old young Sunayana, wife of Srinivas who was shot in Kansas, it is 100%. For a school kid, whose identity is challenged and who is being intimidated in school due to his socio-cultural background, it is 100%.
World Hindu Council of America (VHPA) has formed a coalition of many Hindu organizations and institutions to address defamation, discrimination and hate issues. We have a registry created on the website to records incidences of abuse or crime.
We have prepared documents with all the details. Let me read a para from the documents. “The presence and contributions of three million legal Hindu/Indian immigrants and the second generation of Hindus is a testament to the openness of USA as a nation that has attracted and embraced the universal and peaceful ancient Vedic ideals of ‘सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः-Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, (May all be happy).” You can obtain a copy of this document from me or Haribhai Patel or Hitesh Mehta after the program.
World Hindu Council of America is planning Hindu awareness program across the country on how to handle these issues and how to get involved in county/township level community programs, be it a charity event, 4th of July parade or a coffee with Cop.
Please be a part of this awareness program. Organize this in your area in a small or large group. Please contact me, Haribhai Patel or Hitesh Mehta, we will come to your area.
Again, it is not just about Srinivas or Sikh brother, it not about him or her, it is about ‘us’ as a community. It is about dignity, self-respect and safety of Hindu/Indian diaspora, our youth in college campuses and our children in schools. So, please join.
Thanks and Namaste.