Very few Indian Americans contribute to Obama transition project

December 2nd, 2008 - 3:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaNew York, Dec 2 (IANS) Indian Americans have the highest per capita income among ethnic communities in the US and are known for making massive political donations, but they seem to have made little contribution to the Obama-Biden Transition Project. Only 18 names of Indian Americans feature in a list of 1,776 donors.Making preparation for the installation of the next administration, which would conclude with the swearing in of Barack Obama as the US president on Jan 20, 2009, the Obama-Biden Transition Project is eligible to receive both government funding and donations from the public to run its show.

The list of all such individual donors was voluntarily released by the Office of President-Elect Monday. This is part of Obama’s pledge to run the most open and transparent transition in history, said a statement issued by the transition office.

However, a search of names among a total of 1,776 donors reflected that not many are Indian Americans.

Though the community was in the forefront of a fund raising drive both for the Republican and Democratic candidates during the presidential election campaign, not more than a dozen and a half names of Indian Americans figure in this list of 1,776.

The community, which easily raised at least a few million dollars in a matter of few hours during the primaries and election campaign days, does not seem to have crossed $20,000 in contributions of the total of $1.7 million raised by the Obama-Biden Transition Project so far.

Missing from this list are well known Indian American donors and fund raisers.

In fact, a majority of them are little known individuals from small towns and cities of the US.

The few significant Indian American donors include eminent Democrat leader from California, Dr. Kamil Hasan. He donated $2,500, according to the figures released by the transition office. Individuals may not donate more than $5,000.

“The Obama-Biden Transition project only accepts contributions from individuals’ personal funds - we refuse all donations from corporations, labor unions, and PACs,” said the statement.

Topping the list is Majid Naderkhani from Bathesda, Maryland. CEO of ExcelaCom, a technology consulting firm, Naderkhani appears to be the only Indian American to have made a donation of $5,000.

He is followed by Rasing Kher Rajput, from Biloxi in Mississippi, who has made a donation of $3,125. Maria T. Ahuja from New York donated $1,000.

Thereafter most of the donations coming from Indian Americans are in the range of $500 and $250. Prominent among them include scientist Anjaneyulu Krothapalli from the Florida State University, Tallahassee Florida, who made a contribution of $250.

One Vijay Basani, head of eIQ Networks Inc, from a small town Wayland in Massachusetts, which has a population of about 15,000, donated $200.

While individual donations for the transition project are still continuing, the contribution from the community from states like New York, New Jersey, California, Illinois and Texas, in which Indian Americans are in sizeable numbers, is negligible.

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