“Distinguished Community Service Awards” were presented at a reception hosted by the Embassy of India.
The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) honored Indian American Representatives Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) with its “Distinguished Community Service Awards.”
The awards were presented at a reception hosted by the Embassy of India for members of AAPI and its local affiliate Greater Washington Association of Physician Indian Origin (GWAPI) on Wednesday.
More than a hundred members of AAPI attended event, which was held the same day the organization hosted its Legislative Day on Capitol Hill.
In his address, Krishnamoorthi said that he would not be in Congress but for the community’s success in various fields. “I stand on your shoulders to be in the United States Congress,” he told the gathering.
Referring to a spike in hate crime against members of the Indian American community and other minority groups, he said, “We stand against hate, we stand against prejudice, and we stand against discrimination on any basis, especially on the basis of religion and on the basis of national origin.”
Hate crime was one of the issues raised by the AAPI leadership in its meetings with members of Congress earlier in the day.
Related: AAPI puts on a show of force on Capitol Hill (May 4, 2017)
Jayapal thanked AAPI members for highlighting the two important issues, immigration reform and hate crimes against minority groups. “I don’t know how many people here have been told to go back to their country, but I have been told that,” the Democrat said.
Welcoming the physicians and other guests, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of India Reenat Sandhu praised AAPI’s role in strengthening the India-US partnership.
Another prominent speaker of the evening was Maryland State Delegate Aruna Miller, who praised the services of the physicians’ community.
“Doctors have the most profound way of touching one’s life,” she said. “You are there from the moment we take our first breath to the moment we take our last.”