Washington: As many as 35 US lawmakers including Carolyn B Malone, Ami Bera, Tulsi Gabbard and Joe Crowley, have joined hands to co-sponsor a resolution in the US House of Representatives asking the US Postal Service to issue a commemorative stamp on Diwali.
The House Resolution (No 47) requests the issue of the stamp ahead of the meeting of the Citizens Advisory Committee of the US Postal Service later this month.
"The Citizens Stamp Advisory Commission in its meeting next week can settle this issue once and for all by recommend to the Postmaster General issuance of a stamp honouring this holiday celebrated by billions of people around the world," Maloney said.
Maloney had previously urged supporters of a Diwali commemorative stamp to write the Citizens Stamp Advisory Commission (CSAC).
New York-based Ranju Batra, chair of Diwali Stamp Project, said aside from the cultural significance of the Diwali stamp, there are economic benefits associated with its issuance.
"There are over three million Indian Americans residing in the US and over one billion Indians living in India. The sale of the Diwali stamp could provide the United States Postal Service (USPS) with a much-needed revenue surge," she noted.
"The Diwali festival honours righteousness and service to others before ourselves. This yearly festival is a time to celebrate the triumph of goodness and truth, and to reflect on the year. It is only appropriate that we commemorate this widely observed holiday and its place in our nation`s rich tapestry of religious and cultural diversity," said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who is the first Hindu-American to serve in the US Congress.
Noting that the USPS posted a USD 16 billion deficit last year, Maloney said there is wide agreement in the Indian-American community that a commemorative Diwali stamp would provide the USPS with sorely needed revenue.