WASHINGTON : Indian-American doctors meet key US lawmakers on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON : Indian-American doctors meet key US lawmakers on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON : The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) organised an event to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Independence of India on Capitol Hill in Washington DC on Wednesday. Key US Senators and Congressmen participated in the event and stressed the need to strengthen Indo-US relationship and praised the contributions and achievements of physicians of Indian origin and the larger Indian-American community, according to a press release by AAPI.

Attended by dozens of leaders of AAPI and several community leaders, the event was a celebration of India. Dr Sampat Shivangi, chair of AAPI legislative committee, who has played a lead role in organising the India day celebrations on Capitol Hill said, Indian-Americans have a key role to play in the India US relationship. “It is a proud moment for every Indian, living in every part of the world to see the progress that our motherland has achieved since its independence 75 years ago,”
Dr Shivangi, a member of the National Advisory Council, Center for National Mental Health Services, said.

In his welcome address, Dr Ravi Kolli, president of AAPI, said: “We are proud to be part of this historic celebration of India on Capitol Hill, where we will have an opportunity to exchange views and express our concerns with the dozens of US lawmakers, who will come to be part of the celebrations.”

While lauding the contributions of physicians of Indian origin, Senator Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat said: “Had it not been for the Indian community that came to West Virginia to provide their services, most of rural West Virginia would not have health care today.” He pointed out that a major section of healthcare services in rural US is provided by Indian-American doctors.

Senator Shelley Capito from West Virginia noted how the Indian-American community is playing a key role in enriching the cultural experience of her state. “I live in Charleston, West Virginia, a small rural state. If we did not have any Indian-American doctor, we would not have any kind of quality healthcare, we would not have the breadth and the depth and the richness of our communities that we have,” she said.

India’s ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, in his keynote address, said that there is a close connection between the two countries and today it is driven by the leadership of the two largest democracies of the world. Indian-American doctors have a key role to play in the India-US relationship, Sandhu said.

“We have such a vibrant and dynamic Indian-American community represented in this country. The success of the Indian-American community as professionals – doctors, technocrats, scientists and, entrepreneurs, has been an inspiration to many of us in India. And today, support of this community is vital to us in forging a much stronger relationship with the US,” he said.

Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna from California said, “US-India relationship is more critical than ever for the world.” He added that India should not be subject to (CAATSA) sanctions because of its historic relationship with Russia.

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi said the Indian-American community needs to make its presence known. Imploring more Indian-Americans to run for office, Krishnamoorthi told the Capitol Hill gathering, “If you are not at the table, you will be on the menu.” India, he said, has done a lot in the last 75 years. “I want to talk a little bit about its (India’s) greatest export. Its greatest export is you – Indian-Americans who are four million strong. They are the fastest-growing ethnic minority in America. They are the most prosperous ethnic minority and the most well educated.”

“Indian-American physicians have made vital contributions to the health care field,” said Dr Kishore Challa, co-chair of AAPI’s legislative committee. “As physicians, we provide critical care to patients from rural & urban communities across the country.

Indian-American doctors are playing a critical role in filling the nationwide physician shortage. The India day on Capitol Hill is a unique opportunity for AAPI members to be part of the decision-making process on matters related to healthcare and advocate for stronger and closer ties between India and the United States.”

Dr Anjana Samadder, president-elect of AAPI said, “AAPI has been serving India and contributing to the effective healthcare delivery in the US and in India. In keeping with the mission of AAPI, the celebrations on the Hill provided us with a forum to facilitate and enable Indian-American physicians share our concerns with the lawmakers in pursuit of our aspirations in matters relating to professional and community affairs.”

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