WASHINGTON: In the backdrop of a brutal assault on an elderly Sikh-American man earlier this month, Sikhs have raised USD 80,000 for a national campaign to tackle the growing misperceptions about the community after the 9/11 terror attacks.
Over 300 Sikhs gathered from all around the Los Angeles area to increase awareness about the religion and the positive contributions the Sikh-Americans have made so that they do not become a victim of hate crime.
The National Sikh Campaign’s gala over the weekend featured Devenderpal Singh of Indian Idol fame. The event was successful in raising USD 80,000 to support the national campaign, a media release said yesterday.
At one year old, National Sikh Campaign (NSC) has worked with President Obama’s campaign media team, AKPD, to design a national media strategy to educate Americans about the Sikh community’s presence and its contribution in America.
NSC provides an opportunity to adopt a strategy to present our community’s struggle and triumph to the American audience with courage and integrity, said Rajwant Singh, co-founder and senior advisor of NSC.
Sikhs need to launch a world class website and create ad campaign to bring awareness about appearance, he said.
“The turban is a symbol of human rights and justice but now is seen as cause of anxiety among Americans due to it being confused with people who stand against democracy and American values. It is thrilling that the community has come together to be proactive and launch a positive campaign to show the contribution of Sikhs in America from last 100 years,” Mr Singh said.
“This gathering has turned out to be the largest gathering of the Sikhs in US for a Sikh awareness campaign,” said Surinder K Dargan, head of Los Angeles chapter of National Sikh Campaign.