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Sikhs join President Bush Celebrating Asian Pacific Month at the White House


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    Sikh Council on Religion and Education
    2446 Reddie Dr, Suite 14, Silver Spring, MD-20902
    Phone: 301-946-2800 , 202 460 0630

    Press Release
    For Immediate Release

    Sikhs join President Bush Celebrating Asian Pacific Month at the White House

    Washington, May 22, 2006 - President George W. Bush welcomed over 100 Asians from many backgrounds in a ceremony celebrating the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in the East room of the White House last week. Among the guests of Asian descent were President’s cabinet Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, Secreatary of Labor Ellaine Chao, Members of President’s commission on Asian and Pacific Affairs, members of U.S. Armed Forces, Indian, Pakistani and Sikh Americans and religious leaders.

    President Bush speaking at the Ceremony honoring Asians Pacific Americans in the East Room at the White House

    Among those invited were Dr. Rajwant Singh, National Chairman of Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE), and his family from Potomac, Maryland, Durga Agrawal from Houston, TX, Akshay Desai from St. Petersburg, FL and Joseph Mellokaran from Overland, KS, both members of the President’s advisory commission on Asian Americans and Pacifics Islanders, Ahmad Kabani from Tallahassee Florida, and Durriya Badani from Northridge, California.

    Dr. Rajwant Singh, the only Sikh American of Indian descent invited to the event, said, “It is indeed an honor to be invited to this event celebrating the successes of all Asians in America. Asian and Pacific Americans have contributed immensely to the strength of America. We are proud to have pioneers like Dalip Singh Saund, the first Indian and Sikh American to be the U.S. Congressman and Bhagat Singh Thind who fought for citizenship in 1923 and was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court citing that he was not an Anglo-Saxon. Indians have been part of America over 100 years and they have been on the forefront of American progress in education, science and IT technology. Sikh farmers are cultivating various parts of America and the West Coast and shown results with their hard work. Our community is committed to create harmonious society for all Americans.”

    From left to right - Preet Amrit Kaur, Rajdeep Singh, Guransh Singh , Dr. Rajwant Singh and Secretary of Transportation, Norman Mineta in the East room of the White House.

    Dr. Singh added, "We thank President Bush for making his cabinet more diverse and having the maximum number of Asians appointed by his administration." Dr. Singh also raised the issue of Sikhs in U.S. Armed Forces with Transportation Secretary Mineta and Labor Secretary Ellaine Chao who promised that they would raise with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and at the Cabinet level.

    President Bush honored 2 Indian American among the 5 Asians with President’s Volunteer Service Awards. He said, “"The volunteers we recognize have brought care and outreach to veterans and men and women in uniform; they've helped children learn to read; they've extended food and shelter to hurricane victims in our Gulf Coast; they've helped underprivileged high school students prepare their SATs; and they've aided immigrants who have recently arrived in our country. They have served our nation in distinct ways, and in so doing have made America a better place to live,"

    Durai Pandithurai of Cedar Hill, Texas, was honored for his volunteer work with Salvation Army and his work during the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Ravi Shankar, an Indian youth from Orlando, Florida, was the honored for helping the underprivileged youth prepare for the SAT exams.

    Rajdeep Singh, Ravi Shankar, Dr. Rajwant Singh and Guransh Singh in a reception in The State Dining Room at the White House

    President Bush in his remarks said, “Fourteen million Americans can claim ancestry from the Asian Pacific region. Through a commitment to educational excellence you help raise standards and show that the American Dream is within reach for all who study hard and persevere. Through your love of family and community you help unite us as a people. Through entrepreneurship and innovation you have strengthened our economy, creating jobs for others and thereby contributing to the opportunity of this nation.

    Sikhs at the Balcony of the White House after witnessing President Bush flying off in Air Marine 1 from the South Lawn of the White House. Guransh Singh, Rajwant SIngh, Rajdeep Singh, Harjot Singh, Kanwarpreet Singh from Houston,TX and Preet Amrit Kaur

    America has thrived as a nation because we've always welcomed newcomers, who, in turn, embrace our values and our way of life. Every immigrant who lives by these values makes our country better and makes our future brighter as "one nation under God."
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