The United States of America will unveil a commemorative Diwali stamp on October 5, the result of a seven-year-long campaign by Indian-Americans and influential American lawmakers to have a stamp that pays tribute to the festival, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney announced in New York on Wednesday.
The stamp, which will be issued by the United States Postal Service in November, has a photo of a traditional diya (lamp) lit against a gold background with the words ‘Forever USA 2016’ below. Maloney said the stamp was long overdue as Diwali was celebrated by millions around the world and will be a very important revenue generator for the US postal department.
The campaign by the Indian-American community had been spearheaded by Indian-American attorney Ranju Batra, who secured thousands of signatures for the petitions. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, the only Hindu member of the US Congress, led the latest campaign to the US postal department. “This has been a long and arduous process, but it will be greatly appreciated by many,” Gabbard said.
Senator Mark Warner, co-chairperson of the Senate India Caucus, tweeted that the stamp was an important recognition for the more than 3 million Indian-Americans who celebrate Diwali. The diya featured in the stamp was photographed by the US postal department’s Sally Andersen-Bruce, and Greg Breeding of Virginia designed the stamp.
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