Civic Group Seeks To Give South Asians One Voice

A civic leader has recently started a new group to bring a louder voice to the South Asian population in Queens.

The South Asians for Empowerment (SAFE) aims to bring people from every country in the South Asian area, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and more, according to its executive director, Jagajit Singh.

Singh said that with the new administration taking office, there is more of an opportunity for people of South Asian ethnicity to join together and make their voices heard. He said there is a need for elder South Asian people, who were born elsewhere and immigrated to this country as teenagers or adults.

“There has to be some larger umbrella, which acts as a bridge for everybody to come together. That is how I see the role of South Asians for Empowerment,” he said. “In a democracy, the louder the voice, the more you are heard. If everybody gets together and shouts, we will be heard.”

Singh came to the United States from India in 2001, just nine days before the Sept. 11 attacks. He was involved politically in his home country, but came stateside to learn about nonprofits and how to run an organization that focuses more on helping people rather than making money. Singh said, unlike the United States, they do not have nonprofit organizations in India.

The group will have a town hall meeting on Sunday, Jan. 26, at the Sikh Cultural Center in Richmond Hill. The meeting will begin at 11:30 a.m. The Cultural Center is located at 96-30 118th St.

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