Source: Hindu American Foundation
On May 4, 2006 Hindu American Foundation reported, "Leaders of the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) attended a reception hosted by President George W. Bush commemorating the National Day of Prayer at the White House on May 4, 2006. Held in the historic East Room of the White House this year, the National Day of Prayer program has been held annually on the first Thursday of May pursuant to a joint Congressional resolution enacted in 1952 and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. As the only Hindu attendees of the event, HAF Executive Council Member, Sheetal Shah, and HAF Board Member, Nikhil Joshi, Esq. joined approximately 200 other invited guests representing various faith-based groups. In a brief speech to those gathered, President Bush spoke of the importance of faith in the daily lives of many Americans, but that the freedom to practice a faith or no faith is a bedrock principle of the United States of America. 'As a Hindu, it was an honor to join the President in celebrating the central role that prayer holds in our daily religious practice,' said Shah. 'We are pleased that the White House continues to include diverse faiths in this important event to honor the various ways in which so many of us seek spiritual guidance.' HAF members attended the White House Diwali reception last year and have held briefings on Hindu human rights issues and religious liberty issues with White House staff in the past. Through these interactions, the foundation recently began working with other Hindu organizations to utilize Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (FBCI) funding and distributed a guide to assist such groups in navigating through the process last year. An invitation to the annual event as Hindu representatives was a continuation of that ongoing dialogue."