GOPIO-CT officials discuss shortage of workers in hospitality and healthcare and long wait for green cards for Indians
Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes has agreed to support a bill introduced in the US Congress by New York Congresswoman Grace Meng to make Diwali a federal holiday.
Himes announced his support for Diwali Day Act (HR 3336) after a meeting on June 16 in Stamford with officials of the Connecticut chapter of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO-CT, according to a GOPIO press release.
The delegation was led by GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham, who is also advisor and trustee of GOPIO-CT, along with GOPIO-CT board members Ravi Nichani, Nandu Kuppuswamy, Anita Mathur and Fr. Sudhir Dâ€™Souza. Other members present were Cecil Nazareth and Ram and Jane Jhunja.
READ: Lawmakers okay Diwali school holiday in New York City (June 12, 2023)
Himes’ support for the Diwali bill came days after New York State legislature passed a bill to make Diwali a school holiday in New York City.
The billâ€™s prime mover Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar, the first Hindu-American and South Asian-American woman elected to the state office in New York said, â€œIt is long past time to honorâ€ the â€œvibrant cultural heritageâ€ of the South Asian, Indo-Caribbean, Hindu, Sikh, Jain, and Buddhist communities by making Diwali a school holiday.
An estimated 200,000 students from these communities will be able to celebrate the festival of lights in their own way, free of school.
Meng, First Vice Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, has introduced a bill in the US Congress â€œto create federal holidays for Lunar New Year and Diwali so their importance will be recognized across our country.â€
She called New York State Legislatureâ€™s approval of these two measures as â€œa wonderful reminder and celebration of the great diversity that exists in our state, and underscores how this diversity should be reflected in the holidays observed by our residents.â€
The GOPIO delegation also discussed with Rep. Himes several other matters including geopolitical threat in the South Asia region by China especially to India, upcoming State visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other bilateral cooperation between the US and India, the release stated.
Other issues discussed included need to develop a proper manual for business people for doing business between US and India, current shortage of ordinary office workers in hospitality and healthcare, and the long delay in getting an employee sponsored permanent resident card especially for those from India.