Reshma Saujani, the first
Indian-American woman to run for the US Congress, wants to be
the change agent for immigrants.
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Saujani, the first Indian-American woman to run for the US
Congress, now as a change agent wants to create opportunities for
immigrants who have made New York City their home.
Although Saujani, a lawyer, politician and entrepreneur, lost her
2010 ambitious run against Democrat Carolyn Mahoney, a nine term
member of the US House of Representatives from New York, she is
now "exploring a race for citywide office in 2013."
"My 15 months at the Public Advocate's office were truly some of
the best of my life," Saujani, currently the deputy advocate for
special initiatives in the watchdog body charged with ensuring
that all New Yorkers have a voice in shaping the city's policies,
told IANS in an e-mail interview.
"What we were able to accomplish with the Fund for Public
Advocacy, from encouraging immigrant entrepreneurship to providing
scholarships to undocumented students was powerful," she said.
"I'm committed to being a leader in charting the future of New
York City, and I want to keep creating opportunities for the
people who live here."
Explaining what made her run for the US Congress in the first
place, Saujani said: "Things were not getting done in Washington,
and I was frustrated by the lack of leadership and the lack of
political courage we were seeing in Congress."
"I was noticing people around me become jaded and I wanted to do
something to change it," she said.
"New ideas are so important for driving innovation in this
country, and I wanted a chance to get my ideas out there, and talk
to voters in New York City about theirs."
But "the experiences I had talking with voters every day showed me
what a difference could be made by showing up, by being at the
senior centre or the street fair and meeting the people that are
working to make a difference in our communities," Saujani said.
"I've always been an organizer, and as the daughter of immigrants
I have always been especially passionate about engaging people in
the political process, who have been excluded from it or who felt
no one was listening to them."
"The Light of India Awards", are "A powerful way to celebrate the
work Indian Americans are doing and to show their innovations and
accomplishments," Saujani said noting that they "are in every form
of government from policy leaders to activists to change agents."
Author Jhumpa Lahiri, television personality Padma Lakshmi and CNN
contributor and surgeon Sanjay Gupta are among the nominees for
the second annual Light of India awards, recognising excellence
and exemplary achievements of Indians abroad.
The winners of the awards, instituted by Remit2India, a Times
Group service, in the fields of business, education, science &
technology, arts & entertainment and literature & journalism, will
be announced June 1 at a gala event in New York.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)