India physicians and hotels and convenience store owners join hands

November 24th, 2008 - 6:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Orlando (Florida), Nov 24 (IANS) The apex bodies of Indian American physicians, and hotel, convenience store and gas station owners in the US have decided to join hands for a common cause - political empowerment of the community and jointly take up issues affecting it. The decision in this regard was taken over the weekend at a meeting of their leaderships held in Tampa, Florida, on the sidelines of the fourth annual convention of the Asian American Convenience Stores Association or AASCA, which represents convenience stores and gas stations run by Indian Americans.

While American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) is the apex body of Indian American doctors in the US, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) represents Indian Americans in the business or hotel and motels.

This is for the first time the three Indian American organisations have come together on one platform.

“Racial profiling is one of the issues, which is common to all three of us,” said Rajender Gupta, chair, Board of Trustees, AAPI. Gupta said AAHOA and AAPI have cooperated with each other on various issues - the latest being the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal.

“We are hardworking, successful, but still face a lot of problem. Our coming together would help us overcome such problems,” he said.

AAHOA treasurer Hemant Patel said the time has come for the community to work together on the political empowerment of the community. “Nothing could be achieved without any political power,” Patel said.

AAHOA members own 52 percent of the economy-lodging segment in the country.

Welcoming the decision, AASCA founder and president Satya Shaw said it would help the community have a strong and collective voice. “Many of us do not realize the strength we have in big community and the impact of our community,” he said.

“There is no hospital in America without an Indian doctor, there is no highway in America without Indian motel owners, and there is no town in America without an Indian store,” Shaw said, adding that it is very crucial for all the three organisations to work towards political empowerment of the community.

Leaders of the three bodies are expected to soon meet in the next few weeks to elaborate on their plans of co-operation.

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