The United States Postal Services released the first ever Diwali stamp on October 5 to the cheers of the Indian-American community for it was their relentless campaign that bore fruit.
The ‘First Day Cover Of Diwali Stamp’ was unveiled at the Indian Consulate in New York in the presence of Riva Ganguly Das, India’s Consulate General to New York, and US Congresswomen Carolyn B. Maloney and Grace Ming, chair of the “Diwali Stamp” Ranju Batra among other dignitaries.
M.R. Rangaswami from Bay Area in California, who spearheaded the campaign for the commemorative Diwali stamp since 2010, was present during the unveiling of the stamp.
The photograph of the diya in the stamp was taken by Sally Andersen-Bruce of Connecticut and the stamp itself was designed by Greg Breeding of Virginia. William Gicker of Washington was the art director.
The Indian-Americans who were advocating for the stamp met over 100 Congressmen and Congresswomen over the years trying to pursue them in favour of the release of the stamp. Letters and petitions were sent by the Indian-American community supporting the demand for the commemorative stamp.
Meetings were also held with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama for the same.