UNITED STATES, December 4, 2012 (Huffington Post, by Anju Bhargava): America values the individual contribution and empowers its citizens to self govern their communities at the local, state and national levels. Volunteerism and community service are an integral part of our national consciousness and the very backbone of our communal existence. Values that resonate with the Dharmic philosophy of self reliance are part of our historical heritage; these values enabled Gandhi to win freedom in India.
Today, in America, as new immigrants, we have transplanted and built our faith infrastructures. Though there is a high level of acceptance, sometimes we see gaps through intolerance and violence. For example, the Wisconsin Gurudwara shootings and vandalism/theft in Hindu temples, such as the recent theft of Lord Shiva's murti (icon) in India Cultural Society of Wayne, N.J., desecration of the new Jain Temple in Franklin township, vandalism in Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in Lanham, Md., et al.
The responsiveness and awareness of our needs is becoming visible. For example, on learning of the theft in Wayne, Hindu American Seva Charities reached out to the N.J. Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness with whom we have been working with for quite some time. They responded promptly and reached out to the temple to help them be better prepared on security issues.
At this time, Hindu American Seva Charities is collaborating with N.J. Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness to present an important educational forum Security Awareness and Vigilance for Everyone (S.A.V.E.) Dec. 4.
Since our formation in 2009, in addition to promoting civic engagement and bringing the Hindu voice to the forefront, Hindu American Seva Charities has been working with the Department of Homeland Security and recommending ways to include our community and address our needs.