Obama acknowledges contributions of Hindus and Sikhs
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Last Updated: Thursday, February 04, 2010, 23:41
Washington: US President Barack Obama on Thursday acknowledged the contribution of Hindus and Sikhs in the country along with other faiths in reflecting compassion and decency of the American people.

At the National Prayer Breakfast meeting, Obama spoke on the compassion and decency of the American people which is expressed through individuals, organisations and the religious institutions.

He said, "It is expressed through the efforts of our Armed Forces, through the efforts of our entire government, through similar efforts from Spain and other countries around the world. It's also, as Secretary (of State Hillary) Clinton said, expressed through multiple faith-based efforts."

"By evangelicals at World Relief. By the American Jewish World Service. By Hindu temples, and mainline Protestants, Catholic Relief Services, African American churches, the United Sikhs. By Americans of every faith, and no faith, uniting around a common purpose, a higher purpose," Obama said.

Obama praised the relief efforts launched by the Hindu and the Sikh community in Haiti following the devastating earthquake that hit the country last month.

"It's inspiring. This is what we do, as Americans, in times of trouble. We unite, recognising that such crises call on all of us to act ... recognizing that life is most sacred responsibility -- one affirmed, as Hillary said, by all of the world's great religions -- is to sacrifice something of ourselves for a person in need," Obama said.

Sadly, though, that spirit is too often absent when tackling the long-term, but no less profound issues facing our country and the world, Obama observed.

"Too often, that spirit is missing without the spectacular tragedy, the 9/11 or the Katrina, the earthquake or the tsunami, that can shake us out of complacency. We become numb to the day-to-day crises, the slow-moving tragedies of children without food and men without shelter and families without health care," he said.

"We become absorbed with our abstract arguments, our ideological disputes, our contests for power. And in this Tower of Babel, we lose the sound of God's voice," he added.

A seven-member medical team of UNITED SIKHS ? the Sikh organisation mentioned by Obama in his speech ? has setup a rehabilitation camp at a nearby makeshift hospital in Haitian Capital.

The team includes five doctors, a physical therapist and occupational therapist from Chicago, New York and Toronto.

More doctors are to join them from Seattle and Chicago next week, it said in a release.


First Published: Thursday, February 04, 2010, 23:41

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