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
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 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
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.