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Desi Society now official NYPD organisation

Tuesday, 19 December 2006, 06:00 Hrs
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New York: The New York Police Department's (NYPD) Desi Society, formed nearly three years ago, has become an official fraternal organization within the New York police department.

"We started with the common idea that we (Asians) lack a voice within our department and there is nothing to represent our interests," Desi Society president Jag Jaskaran told Desi Talk, an ethnic Indian newspaper.

"We are a diverse group of officers from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Guyana and Trinidad, but because we all share the same culture, we created the society," he added.

"We chose our name because 'desi' is a word that is used by us to identify ourselves. And by identifying ourselves as desi, we stand united and proud of our roots and rich culture," Jaskaran said.

"By calling ourselves the NYPD Desi Society, we equally include everyone of our ethnicity, despite religious beliefs or political borders, thereby unifying ourselves within the department and within our communities," he said.

It is because of the organization's efforts that for the first time in NYPD's history, the Indian festivals of Diwali, Holi and Vaisaki will be included in the official calendar, beginning 2007.

"So if an Indian officer wants to celebrate Diwali, he doesn't have to explain much now. He just has to point to the Hindu holiday listed in the calendar behind his supervisor and say that's the festival he wants to celebrate," Jaskaran added.

One of the organization's primary aims is also to create awareness among younger generations of South Asians that there are avenues to look into for jobs other than medicine, law, teaching and engineering, which are traditionally sought by the community.

Currently, there are 140 police officers and civilian members of the department who are part of the society.
Source: IANS
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