Washington gears up for largest Diwali celebrations

Washington gears up for largest Diwali celebrations

Washington: The US Capitol is set for its largest-ever Diwali celebrations organised by Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans and to be joined by top community organisations from across the nation.

The third-annual Diwali event at the US Capitol, started by Congressman Joe Crowley in 2013, would be attended by around 1,200 people from across the US, including powerful lawmakers, diplomats and eminent Indian-Americans.

"The third annual event will bring lawmakers, advocates, and organisations together from all over the country to recognise the contributions the South Asian community has made in business, technology, healthcare, the arts, and much more," said a statement issued by office of Congressman Ami Bera.

Co-Chair of Congressional Caucus, Bera, is the only Indian-American lawmaker in the current Congress, along with Congressman George Holding. Around 50 Senators and members of US House of Representatives are expected to attend the event tomorrow at the famed Jefferson Hall of the US Library of Congress.

"We have also invited Ambassadors of all the countries which have a sizeable presence of Indian Diaspora," said M Rangaswami, Silicon Valley-based investor, entrepreneur, community builder and philanthropist.

Rangaswami, who has launched a campaign for the past one year towards the issuing of a Diwali special postal stamp by US Postal Service, stated that the event would be used as an occasion to spur the community towards this issue.

The US Postal Service has received letters from 10,000 people, urging it to issue a postal stamp for Diwali. A petition in this regard would be signed by around 100 top Indian-American organizations tomorrow.

"This meaningful festival is about the pursuit of light over darkness, good over evil. It is a time for reflection and renewal, and it is a time for peace. As people from many backgrounds come together to celebrate Diwali, let us all be reminded of the important message of compassion and community," said Joe Crowley.

(Inputs from PTI)

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