The first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony will take place at the Indian Consulate in New York City on Oct. 5, the USPS said.
Hinduism was the only major world religion, for which the USPS had not issued a postage stamp. ”This is a dream come true,” said New York-based Ranju Batra chair, Diwali Stamp Project, who had led campaign to send thousands of letters to the USPS in the past and had campaigned before the US Congress.
Over the past several decades, a large number of individuals, organisations and Congressmen had campaigned for the issuing of a postage stamp commemorating the festival of lights. Several resolutions were introduced Congress too. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced a resolution in Congress last year in favor of a Diwali stamp. Indian diplomats in the United States expressed support for it, and thousands of Americans wrote letters and signed petitions.
In the end, it was the volume of those petitions, not the high-profile support, that swayed the committee, said William Gicker, director of stamp development. “This was the biggest push, the most people writing in,” he said. “From our standpoint, we are producing stamps for people to use for holidays … Looking at the numbers, we saw that Diwali is a holiday that people send cards and correspondence. So we were happy to support that.”