Washington: Indian-American community in the US has launched a campaign demanding a postage stamp on Diwali festival by 2014, saying it is the only major festival on which US Postal Service has not issued a stamp.
Indiaspora, an organisation of influential Indian-Americans, has launched a website, urging the community members to write to their lawmakers and the USPS Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee to issue a Diwali Stamp during the festival in November 2015.
"USPS has stamps for almost all major festivals of the world. Diwali is the only major festival on which it has not issued a stamp," Indiaspora founder M R Rangaswami said. USPS has issued stamps to honour other religious festivals such as Christmas, Easter, Hanukah, Eid and Kwanzaa.
"Several serious efforts have been made in the past. But we still do not have a Diwali stamp," he said.
Issuing a Diwali stamp would place the US alongside many other nations who already have stamps on the festival, including England, Canada, Israel, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and Indonesia, he said.
"Our holiday wish is to have a USPS Diwali stamp for our next Diwali in November 2015. Our community is sure to buy millions of stamps and make this a best seller for the USPS.
We believe the stamp will become a global collector's item," say a draft letter addressed to USPS posted on the website www.diwalistamp.com.
Rangaswami argued that for a loss making USPS, a postage stamp on Diwali could add to its revenue.
"Diwali stamp could be one of those opportunities for them which will make money for them. We can easily generate tens of millions of stamps a year. Even if every Indian-American family buys 10 stamps a year, the USPS would require to issue several million stamps," he said.
"We believe this would be a good money spinner for USPS," he said.
"Indian-Americans can rally behind this initiative in the same way they mobilised to support Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit in 2014.
Let's ride this wave of fellowship to push for a Diwali stamp," says the campaign website.