Ami Bera, a California-based Indian-American physician, was today sworn in as a member of the US House of Representatives, becoming only the third from the community to enter the Congress.

Bera is the third Indian-American — after Dalip Singh Saundh in 1950 and Bobby Jindal in 2005 — to have ever been elected to the House of Representatives. He was sworn in as a member of the United States House of Representatives by House Speaker John Boehner.

Noting that being sworn in as a member of the US House of Representatives is a “culmination of American dream” for his father who migrated from Gujarat in 1950, Bera said that besides working on his priority areas of healthcare and education, he wants to help strengthen the economic relations between India and the US.

“My father migrated in 1950s from Gujarat and this is a culmination of American dream for him. He worked hard to see his son to be sworn in today in the House of Representatives. It’s really the culmination of everything,” Bera told PTI in his first media interview at his new Congressional office at the Capitol Hill.

Democratic lawmaker from California’s 3rd congressional district, Bera has been made a member of the powerful House Foreign Committee, where he is likely to play an important role in shaping the foreign policy of his country and work towards achieving his goal of strengthening economic — agricultural in particular — relationship between India and the US.

The only Indian-American currently serving in the House of Representatives, Bera said healthcare would be on the top of his priorities.

“Obviously health care has to be about patients,” he said.

Bera is the part of America’s 113th Congress which also has 43 African American members.

(This article was published on January 4, 2013)
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