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A Study On Problems Faced By Asian Indian Americans In The Us. Includes A Bibliography.

1756 words - 7 pages

The United States is experiencing a growing Asian Indian American population. As a community, the Indian American population in the United States has dramatically increased by almost 106 percent from 1990 to 2000, rising from 815,447 in 1990 to approx. 1.678 million currently, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The recent census indicates that this community has grown at a rate of 7.6 percent a year in the last ten years The Indian American community is now the third largest Asian American group in the country behind Chinese and Filipino Americans, whereas in 1990 the Indian Americans ranked fourth in the group, behind Japanese Americans (US Census Bureau, 2002; Pattnayak, 2002).The Indian Americans are also a successful group. Statistics from various sources back this assertion: 30 per cent of all hotels and motels in the US are Indian-owned, 45 per cent of women in the Asian Indian community are employed, 50 per cent of Asian Indians own their own homes, 80 per cent of the men in the Asian Indian community have college degrees, and 90 per cent of Asian Indians live in urban areas. And, yes, young Indian moguls are either ruling over Silicon Valley or at least running its machinery.In my travels home during the summer and Christmas holidays, I observed that there are a large number of elderly Indians traveling between the United States and India. Many of them were old, and required wheelchair assistance at the airports. Many of them also had special diet requirements. Many were also culturally confused, although most of them could speak English. This led me to believe that they were not quite able to fit into the American way of life, and faced certain problems that should be looked into. Over the past few years, I also came to know an elderly Indian couple here in Tallahassee who faced a dilemma of adaptation - he was a successful meteorologist in India who became deeply involved in research at the university and was happy here, while she pined for her home and was never quite able to adapt to life in Tallahassee. Sadly, both passed away within 8 months of each other in 2002. Another incident that made me aware of this dilemma was related to the elderly father of an Indian American professor in a local university, who found life so lonely, boring and meaningless in Tallahassee that he went back after just a few days here.I am not alone in observing these problems. In July 1998, at a joint meeting of Indian community leaders and Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) executives in New York City, there was consensus that an assessment of needs of seniors as well as information about unique problems of Indian Americans would be the first step in addressing issues and aspirations of Indian American seniors. During a conference held in September 1998 in New York, and through a follow-up survey of participants, issues and problems faced by seniors became evident. Besides the problems of loneliness, other problems which came to limelight included,...

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