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Indian American Community In Cleveland Celebrates Harris Inauguration

Cleveland’s Indian American community is celebrating on Inauguration Day, as Kamala Harris becomes the first woman of color to become vice president.

Harris’ move into to the role of vice president is an inspiration to women everywhere, said Association of Asian Indian Women in Ohio Vice President Nita Sahai. Sahai hopes Harris can help bring about changes in areas such as access to contraception, the gender pay gap and resources for victims of sexual assault, she said.

“This event today will serve as a positive and hopefully make a turn in the environment and the temperature of the politics in this country,” Sahai said. “Seeing a person, a woman of color, is going to be a huge inspiration for women not only in this country but all over the world.”

Harris’ ascension to the White House is an example of the hard work done by immigrants and their families throughout the United States, Sahai said.

“I came to this country not only because it was the best place to do research, but because one thinks of it as this beacon of freedom and equality where you can be who you are and believe in the system,” Sahai said.

The Biden administration can help bring about unity, Sahai said, but there needs to be an effort to come together from both sides of the aisle.

“It requires both sides of this debate to come together and have a reasoned and logical discussion based on facts,” Sahai said.

The need for unity is something the Indian American community is particularly aware of, said Federation of India Community Associations of Northeast Ohio Chairman Sudarshan Sathe.

“I’m looking forward to a united United States,” Sathe said. “As a student of history of India, we have seen the devastating effects of division in our history, and we don’t want to see that anymore.”

Harris’ election shows acceptance for Indian Americans in the United States, Sathe said, and he hopes it will open more doors for members of the community. And her new position brings pride to Indian Americans, he said.

“I feel that even those who did not vote for her, she will win them over by her dedication to helping them, and of course, by her thousand-watt smile,” Sathe said.

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