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25/04/24 | 9:15 am | America | US official | USA

US official visits Jain Temple in California, terming ‘Indian-Americans’ backbone of strong relationship

US State Department Assistant Secretary Donald Lu on Wednesday visited Jain Temple in California and stressed that the Indian-Americans are the backbone of strong relationship between the two countries. Following his visit, community leader Ajay Bhutoria welcomed State Department Assistant Secretary Donald Lu along with Senior Advisor for Domestic Outreach Jennifer Miller and Marissa Morales, Administrative Support Specialist to the Assistant Secretary Joined by the Southern California Jain temple leadership team, which included JAINA Past Jain President Mahesh Wadher, Jain Temple President Sameer Shah, Vice President Ketan Shah and executive team members.

Their gathering aimed to foster dialogue and stronger understanding between the US State Department and the Jain community in the US. During the visit, President Sameer Shah, Mahesh Wadher and the temple executive team shared invaluable insights into Jainism, its food practices, philosophy of non-violence, Lord Mahavir message of Peace, Compassion and Non violence and Jain way of fasting traditions.

Moreover, they also shared insights on community outreach and philanthropy work carried out by JAINA and the Jain temple to support individuals both locally in Los Angeles and others parts of US and also in India and Nigeria.

The team shared that the Jain Temple of Southern California is a spiritual and cultural hub for the Jain community in the region. They are further committed to promoting Jain values of compassion, non-violence, and selflessness, adding that the temple provides a space for worship, learning, and community service.

Ajay Bhutoria shed light on the Anuvrat Digital Detox Program initiated by Jain Terapanth Sect Acharya Mahasharman ji, and emphasised the program’s benefits to human relationships, mental health, and emotional intelligence.

He further urged Assistant Secretary Lu to consider integrating the Digital Detox program into the State Department’s initiatives to support Mental Health wellbeing essential. Additionally, concerns regarding delays in visitor visa appointments in India were also raised by the community.

Assistant Secretary Donald Lu expressed gratitude for the opportunity to connect with the Jain community in Southern California, and acknowledged their significant contributions to the broader Los Angeles area.

He emphasised the vital role of Indian-Americans in strengthening the relationship between India and US. “Indian-Americans are the backbone of our strong relationship with India. It was wonderful to connect with the Jain community in Southern California and learn about their many contributions to the wider Los Angeles area,” he said.

Later, Ajay Bhutoria expressed his appreciation for the State Department team’s visit to the Jain temple, highlighting the importance Lord Mahavir message of promoting peace, non-violence, and compassion.

Bhutoria also stressed that the India-US relationship is strongest under President Joe Biden and Secretary Blinken and these people to people dialogues would further strengthen the US-India relationship and help promote US Interests and shared values. (ANI)

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