Shri Thanedar – The Indian Panorama

Shri Thanedar said he would work on universal health care, human rights and immigration issues in the US Congress next year.

WASHINGTON DC. (TIP): All ready to be elected to the United States House of Representatives during the Congress on November 8 elections, American Indian Shri Thanedar said he would work on universal health care, human rights and immigration issues in the US Congress next year.

Businessman turned politician, Thanedar (67) has lived a story of fortune. After losing his father, Thanedar worked as a janitor to support his studies and his family, before working as a scientist at the Bhabha Atomic Research Center in Mumbai, India. A proud Maharashtrian, Thanedar grew up in Belgaum in Karnataka. Thanedar came to the United States hoping to become a successful businessman and now wants to serve the community he lives with. He is the Democratic Party candidate for Michigan’s 13th congressional district. Having won the primaries, he is ready to be elected because it is a Democratic stronghold.

“Thirty percent of my district is at or below the poverty line. Working class people and their families have struggled and Covid has been particularly hard on this community. We had a lot of loss of life because not all Americans have health care,” he said.

“Twenty-six million people are not covered by health insurance. And one of my priorities is for every American to be covered by health care, what we call Health Insurance for everyone. Every person, regardless of income level, should have health care. I believe this is a basic human right and that every person has the right to obtain adequate medical, physical and mental health care,” Thanedar told PTI in an interview.

Congresswoman Rashida Talib currently represents the 13th congressional district, but due to redistricting, she moved to the neighboring district. The 13th Congressional District is now 45% African American, 45% White American, and the rest are Hispanic Americans and a few Asian Americans. “My goal is that regardless of a person’s financial ability, Medicare for All should be our goal. This means that we eliminate insurance companies. The government pays for the healthcare system and we separate healthcare from employment,” he said.

Thanedar currently represents Michigan House’s 3rd district and had an unsuccessful bid for state governor in 2018. Arriving in the United States with just $20, Thanedar said he had achieved the American dream. “I achieved the American dream. But what I have noticed is that the American dream is not accessible to many people, especially in urban areas, in black and brown communities. So my motivation was to enter the civil service. I feel that I have been blessed, I have done well for my family and it is time for me to give back. “This country I immigrated to has given me so much, and I felt that I could not continue to accumulate wealth. It is time for me to leave my business and enter public service to to be able to give back,” he said. With that thought in mind, Thanedar said he sold his business.

“I took about $1.5 million from this product and distributed it evenly to all my employees. Then I decided to run for governor because I felt that position would allow me to ‘to have maximum impact in improving the quality of life for all Michigan residents,’ he said of his 2018 bid that he lost.

Thanedar said he received overwhelming support from American Indians across the country. “It’s just a matter of how the community feels, because I happen to be the first Native American to be elected to Congress from the state of Michigan,” he said. Thanedar said the country still has many racial divides and racism. “Generations of racism have robbed people of opportunities for the American Dream,” he said.

Responding to a question on India-US relations, Thanedar said America must have strong relations with other democratic countries. “We have to protect our democracy across the world, whether it’s in India or whether it’s Israel,” he said. Israel is also an ally of the United States and this democracy is surrounded by many opposing countries.

“We have to protect democratic Israel, we have to protect democratic India and we have to make sure that human rights are respected all over the world. And that will be my focus in terms of external relations,” Thanedar said.

Thanedar said he often travels to India but has not been there since the Covid outbreak. He also wrote a book in Marathi, which was a bestseller with over 50 editions. “It’s more of an autobiography. I have written my life story of struggles… not only growing up in poverty, but also after losing my first wife when our children were four and eight. We lost her to mental illness. Since then I have focused on the need for people to have (access to) physical health as well as mental health services,” he said.

(Source: PTI)

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