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Letter to the Editor

July 17, 2008 by  


Regarding AFMI Convention

Dear LEAD Forward Board Members, Tamil Nadu President and Friends,

Thanks to Dr Nakadar, a trustee of the American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin!  He gave the opening and welcoming remarks to the recent convention of the Dalits-Minorities International Forum.

Nancy and I had gone to the conference to gain other perspectives for what we do in Tamil Nadu.  As we requested the opportunity to attend, AFMI leadership,  including Dr Nakadar, was very gracious in accepting us.  It was an intersting scene of people dressed differently according to religion, country and region, including sizeable representation by buddhist monks and Sikhs.  The first day, a large number of scavenger women attended as a group.  We were pleased to find that we were already well versed in the issues, needs and approaches for progress, even at the India national level.  So, this was a confirming experience for us.

Dr Nakadar’s speech emphasizes all we have known, thought and done as a program.  We have believed in the same vision: helping from the bottom-up, in educating and developing leaders and in bringing minorities together with Dalits, particularly including Muslims, along with Christian Dalits of various denominations, Hindu Dalits, and as cultural challenges allow, other poor backward caste children.  (We now have one poor non-Dalit, vanniyar, Eraiyur girl who lost her father.)

I recommend you read the entire speech [given by Dr. Nakadar at the Convention].  There were many other excellent presentations. 

Phil Mock,
Philadelphia Chair of the Lead Forward Organization

10-30

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