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United States Postal Service unveils Diwali stamp

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Indian Americans now have their very own stamp paying homage to Diwali.

Indian Americans now have their very own stamp paying homage to Diwali.

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney and the United States Postal Service debuted the long-awaited stamp in honor of Diwali Wednesday.

Celebrating one of the most sacred Hindu festivals, the Diwali stamp was unveiled at the Indian Consulate in New York City. Following years of hard work and advocacy, including thousands of petition signatures, multiple meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, personal appeals to President Barack Obama, and multiple congressional resolutions, Maloney celebrated her success with members of the Indian American community.

For the official ceremony, she was joined by Pritha Mehra, USPS vice president for Mail Entry and Payment Technology; Consul General Riva Ganguly Das; India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri; Ravi Batra, chair of the National Advisory Council South Asian Affairs; Ranju Batra, chair of the Diwali Stamp Project; and M.R. Rangaswami, founder of Indiaspora.

The stamp shows a photo of a traditional ‘diya’ lit against a sparkling gold background and the words ‘Forever USA 2016’ written below.

“It has taken many years of hard work and advocacy but light has finally triumphed,” Maloney said.

“Today, Diwali has received its long-awaited commemorative stamp and rightfully joins the ranks of other major religious and cultural holidays such as Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Eid. I want to thank the USPS and Postmaster General Megan Brennan for brightening the holidays of millions of Americans who celebrate this Festival of Lights.

“The perseverance and dedication of many helped realize this historic day, from Ranju Batra of the Diwali Stamp Project to MR Rangaswami of Indiaspora, to thousands of grassroots supporters across the country who wrote letters and signed petitions. We wouldn’t be here today without their tireless efforts and unwavering passion,” the congresswoman said.

“This stamp represents the triumph of knowledge over ignorance, lightness over dark and good over evil. These values, these virtues, are more important and relevant than ever before and I am thrilled that after many years of fighting for this stamp it has finally become a reality.”

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Shrina Kurani announces CA congressional campaign

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Shrina Kurani announces CA congressional campaign | Diya TV News

SACRAMENTO (Diya TV) — Indian American Democrat Shrina Kurani is running for Congress in California’s 42nd district and is preparing to take on 15-year Republican incumbent Ken Calvert. Kurani is a mechanical engineer and entrepreneur and says she’s running to create more sustainable jobs in her community and to take on the status quo in Washington DC.

More than 30 interfaith organizations in the U.S. are urging the State Department to sanction India and designate it as a country of “particular concern”. Their resolution claims that the Indian government is promoting policies that lead to the persecution of religious minorities, especially Muslims.
Despite growing concern over rising Covid-19 cases in Japan, the 2021 Tokyo Olympic opening ceremony got underway. India is sending its largest ever contingent to the Olympics with120 athletes competing across 85 events.  The country hopes to win medals for shooting, wrestling, boxing, archery and badminton.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Nearly 200,000 ‘Documented Dreamers’ appeal to Congress for help

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Nearly 200,000 'Documented Dreamers' appeal to Congress for help | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — With no clear path to citizenship and facing deportation, younger Indian Americans who have aged out of their parents’ visas are now appealing to lawmakers for help. The Migration Policy Institute says about 190,000 kids and young adults will be in this situation once they turn 21 years old. Some of them have now formed a coalition saying it’s time to address this ongoing issue.

Electronic signature platform DocuSign appointed Indian American Shanthi Iyer as its new Chief Information Officer. Iyer spent more than 20 years at Cisco and will lead Docusign’s efforts to improve employee productivity and the customer experience.

And Indian start-up SimSim has been acquired by Youtube. The company helps small businesses connect with social media influencers and customers. The exact terms of the deal were not disclosed but insiders say the company was valued at more than $70 million.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed in Afghanistan

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Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed in Afghanistan | Diya TV News

KANDAHAR (Diya TV) — Pulitzer Prize-Winning photographer Danish Siddiqui was killed while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. The 38 year old Indian national was Reuters news agency’s chief photographer in India. Siddiqui was credited for capturing some of the most powerful images during the Covid-19 pandemic.

17-year-old Indian-American Samir Banerjee clinched the junior Wimbledon singles tennis title. Celebrating Samir’s achievement, many Indians took to social media to congratulate the youngster.

Jeff Bezos blasted off into space Tuesday on his Blue Origin rocket ship. It was the company’s first flight with people on board.  Bezos is now the second billionaire in just over a week to ride his own spacecraft. The Amazon founder was accompanied by his brother, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands and an 82-year-old aviation pioneer from Texas — the youngest and oldest to ever fly in space.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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