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Hillary to interact with IIT alumni next month

india Updated: Jun 13, 2007 09:10 IST

IANS
Highlight Story

Senator Hillary Clinton is set to take time out of her tightly packed presidential campaign next month to interact with an influential alumni group of the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).

Approximately 4,000 Indian Americans are expected to attend the event, which is just one sign of the growing clout of the community in US politics.

In April, prominent Indian American hotelier Sant Chatwal announced that Indian Americans plan to raise at least $5 million for Clinton's presidential campaign. "Indians have never raised so much money to the best of my knowledge, and I've been living here for 24 years," Chatwal said.

According to latest trends, Clinton is the Indian American community's favourite candidate for the 2008 presidential elections.

Later this month, almost 1,000 people are expected to attend an Indian-themed $1,000 per plate dinner for Clinton in Manhattan.

"This Indian community has come of age and they now understand they have to be involved in the political process," said Meera Gandhi, a Manhattan philanthropist and socialite.

"We are the new wealthy kids on the block, so to speak. We feel we should have a stake in our country's politics," she added.

There are also plans by some Indian Americans to bring in stars from Bollywood, for another Clinton campaign event scheduled later this year, reported the New York Sun.

The Indian American community has one of the highest average incomes in the country, according to the US Census Bureau.

In 2005, median household income for 'Asian Indians' in America was $73, which is 59 per cent above the national average. More than a third of Indian-American adults have an advanced degree compared to 10 per cent of the general population.

Overall, Indian Americans account for less than one per cent of the population, but they aspire to political influence beyond their numbers.