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.”