Diwali Stamp on Oct 5, Project Chair Batra Announces Free Air India Tickets

At the press conference, Consul General of India (NY), Consul General Riva Ganguly Das flaked by Ranju Batra, Chair, Diwali Stamp Project and Ravi Batra, Chair, National Advisory Council South Asian Affairs

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New York – The national-carrier of India recently joined the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) ongoing efforts to make history by having the most amount of Diwali stamps sold on the first day. Earlier, the USPS announced its plans to “commemorate the joyous Hindu festival of Diwali with a Forever stamp,” on October 5, Wednesday, when it would hold the first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony at the Consulate General of India, New York.

Addressing a press conference organized by the Consul General of India (NY), Consul General Riva Ganguly Das, on September 21, 2016 Ranju Batra, Chair, Diwali Stamp Project said, “Ushering in history is a happy, but tedious job. So, heartfelt thank to the USPS.” “I want to publicly acknowledge their dedication and talent and thank Postmaster General Megan Brennan for running such a great operation and for issuing the Diwali Stamp. My heartfelt thanks also to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee for recommending the Diwali Stamp,” added Ranju Batra.

Thanking Air India, the Indian flag-carrier, Ranju Batra, the driving force behind the successful efforts for the USPS to announce the Diwali stamp said, “I am beyond delighted to thank Air India and its Regional Manager Vandana Sharma for its generous support for Diwali Stamp Project’s efforts and this history-making Diwali Stamp Dedication by their free-give-away of up to 10 roundtrip tickets to India. Air India has made history even bigger, and more memorable for all.”

Sharma, Air India regional Manager Americas, in a statement said, “As the national carrier of India, it is with great pride that Air India has been asked to help commemorate the printing of the first ever Diwali Forever Stamp by the US Postal Service.”

“This year, India’s most festive holiday will be especially noteworthy because of this outstanding achievement. All South Asians in the US that celebrate Diwali should be extremely proud, and should join me in acknowledging the efforts of the Diwali Stamp Project Chairwoman, Mrs. Ranju Batra and her team, as well as the invaluable support of Congresswoman Mrs. Carolyn Maloney.”

Ravi Batra, Chair, National Advisory Council South Asian Affairs said at the event, ”From Indian tea starring in the Boston Tea Party in 1773, the start of the American Revolution, destiny has beckoned United States and India to be the closest allies.”

“It may have taken over 200 years, the end of the Cold War and the Civil Nuclear Deal, but the Forever Diwali Stamp represents nothing short of respectful inclusive indivisibility: E Pluribus Unum – within America and between two sovereigns,” he continued.

Thanking Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney for her unflinching efforts, he concluded, “That the Diwali Stamp Project’s campaign successfully sought hardworking Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s national leadership … speaks to soft power’s beneficial effects in nations and communities embracing as a vehicle for greater peace & security around the world.”

Pre-Order Sales

There are 2 ways to order the Diwali Stamp: Go to the USPS website – but you cant win a free trip to India, OR fill out the special Pre-Sale Form created by the USPS – with their logo and Diwali Stamp Project’s logo. Air India is giving away 10 free roundtrip tickets to India to those people who buy their Diwali Stamps on October 5th in-person at this Consulate or better yet, by filling out the Special Pre-Sale double-logo form.

“Every person who comes to the October 5th Dedication and buys even 1 sheet of stamps or by pre-order – will have a free chance to win 1-reserved Air India roundtrip ticket to India,” explained Ranju Batra. In addition, those who buy multiples of 10 sheets (20 stamps per sheet) will get one chance per 10 Sheets; more sheets you buy, more chances you get. In addition, anyone who buys $10,000 or more worth of Diwali stamps by Pre-Sale will get 1 roundtrip ticket (limited to first 7).

Air India Free Raffle Details

Ravi Batra provided the following details to be part of the Air India Free Raffle of Roundtrip Ticket to India:

“The special form (Pre-Order Retail Sales Form) created by the United States Postal Service with the logos of USPS and the Diwali Stamp Project, must be mailed by September 27, 2016 to:

Download the Form

Ranju Batra
Diwali Stamp Project
The Batra Building
142 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10016.
All questions, please contact her via email [email protected] or cell 9148825670.

Only Pre-Order Retail Forms received by Diwali Stamp Project on or before October 3, 2016 are eligible for Air India Free Raffle Roundtrip Ticket per the rules. Raffle Drawing will occur on 10/5/16 at CGI – 3 East 64 Street, Manhattan. Attendance at the historic Diwali Stamp Dedication is most welcome and encouraged as our Community’s show of force and heartfelt thanks to USPS for the Diwali Stamp and for Air India’s support of the historic Diwali Stamp.

Do not mail this Pre-Order form to USPS, as you will not be eligible for the Air India Free Raffle.”

Program Details for October 5 in NY

Calling the release of the Diwali Stamp as a recognition of the contribution and the strength of the Indian American community, Consul General Das felt proud at the achievement made possible with the concerted effort of the community and under the leadership provided by Ranju and Ravi Batra.

The inaugural ceremony of Diwali Stamp on October 5, 2016 will be hosted by the Consulate General of India, New York, in association with the USPS and the Diwali Stamp Project, at its premises (3 East 64 Street, New York, 10065). “Following the inaugural ceremony, purchase and cancellation of the stamps, for collectors and customers will be facilitated at the Consulate,” noted a press release from the Indian diplomatic mission.

Address: Consul General of India, 3 East 64 Street, New York, 10065

Starts 12noon – 3pm: Diwali Stamp Sales and Pre-Sale Orders Pick Up;

From 1pm: Dedication Ceremony begins, and is followed by “autographing”; and First Day Covers will be available, with Cancellation. And, “winners” of the free Air India roundtrip tickets will be selected and announced on Oct. 5th.

“The Postal Service has made history by giving us the Stamp. Now, we need to make history for the Postal Service by having the most amount of stamps sold on the first Day. This is a unique opportunity for our community to come together and buy so many Diwali Stamps that our community will be recognized – forever as being together and united,” urged Ranju Batra.

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