Latest News USA

Indian-American Rahul Dubey in Time’s ‘Heroes of 2020’ for sheltering Floyd protesters

Indian-American Rahul Dubey, who had opened the doors of his Washington DC home to over 70 people demonstrating against the killing of George Floyd, has been hailed among the ‘Heroes of 2020’ by the TIME magazine, honoring those who “went above and beyond the call of duty” this year.

In the ‘Heroes of 2020’ the publication also named Australia’s volunteer firefighters who risked everything to keep their country safe, food-stall owners Jason Chua and Hung Zhen Long in Singapore who wouldn’t let anyone go hungry during the COVID-19 pandemic, Pastor Reshorna Fitzpatrick and her husband Bishop Derrick Fitzpatrick of Chicago, who transformed their church to support their community during the trying year.

A newspaper deliveryman Greg Dailey, who began a grocery drop-off service in mid-March to anyone in need along his paper route and has since supplied more than 140 homes and conducted over 1,000 grocery runs in New Jersey’s Mercer county, was also named by the magazine.

“From citizens providing food and shelter to those in need to volunteers who protected their neighbors from natural disasters, these heroes went above and beyond the call of duty in 2020,” TIME said. TIME described Dubey as “The Man Who Gave Shelter to Those in Need.”

On June 1, as demonstrators filled the streets of Washington DC to protest the killing of African-American Floyd, Dubey was home, not far from the White House.

After a 7 PM curfew, he noticed crowds in the street outside as “police had set up barricades seemingly to trap protesters, and were pepper-spraying those who remained. Dubey decided to take action,” TIME said. “I open my door, and I start yelling, “Get in!’” says Dubey, who works in the health care sector. “All these people were swarming in.”

Dubey said he gave about 70 protesters refuge in his home, housing them overnight to avoid curfew breaches. “People were coughing, crying, strangers pouring milk into strangers’ eyes,” Dubey said. “They were sharing information, writing down numbers for bail bondsmen. It was this real camaraderie.”

A report in TIME said Dubey claims police officers made several attempts to breach his sanctuary that evening: posing as protesters trying to get inside, and attempting to intercept the pizza delivery he had ordered for his houseguests.

The move to open his door was driven by instinct, Dubey says nearly six months later. “It’s what was needed.”

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Latest News New York

Indian-American becomes ‘hero’ for providing refuge to protesters

New York: Indian-American businessman Rahul Dubey has become a hero on the social media for protecting about 70 people from arrest.

These people had violated curfew in Washington during protests against police brutality.

Dubey waved at these protesters and welcomed them into his home for which he got “a round of applause from protesters and supporters”, ABC TV in Washington reported.

Dubey told the station: “I hope they continue to fight and I hope they go out there today peacefully as they did yesterday. Our country needs them and needs you and everybody more than ever right now.”

NBC TV said he took dozens of protesters into his “home overnight after police boxed them in and tried to arrest them for violating curfew”.

He “let them stay there until curfew let up the next morning as police continued to arrest people outside” it said, quoting a protester identified only as Meka.

Meka tweeted that police “shot mace at peaceful protesters in a residential neighborhood” and that Dubey “gave us business cards in case they try to say we broke in”.

There have been widespread protests around the US following the video-recorded extra-judicial killing of an African-American man by a policeman who choked him to death by kneeling on his neck in Minneapolis last week.

Some of the protests have turned violent with a section of the demonstrators looting stores, damaging public property and setting a church in Washington on fire.

Following the violence, Washington and dozens of cities and towns have imposed night curfew.

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International Latest News USA

Indian American hailed as hero for sheltering protesters in DC

Washington: Rahul Dubey, an Indian-origin resident of Washington, is being hailed as a ‘hero’ on social media and was lauded on mainstream US media after he provided shelter to over 60 protesters during curfew on Monday to ensure they weren’t arrested.

Dubey, Senior Vice President (Innovation and Solutions) and CEO at AHIP (America’s Health Insurance Plans), has a 3-storey house on Swann Avenue.

A group of protesters was marching away from the White House, a site of intense protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and were in his street when curfew began at 7 pm. They were surrounded by police personnel and risked being arrested. Reports said that was when Dubey frantically waved them into his house. He said the police chased a “human tsunami” as far as the entrance of his house.

“Inside, pandemonium ensued as some of the screaming protesters hit by pepper spray sought relief for their eyes with milk and water. On the back patio, neighbors pitched in by handing milk over the fence,” an Associated Press report said.

A protester, who asked to be identified only as Meka, told CNN that the protest was peaceful and people were just trying to figure out what to do when curfew began.

“I guess someone gave an order, and they just started pushing us, spraying mace, trampling people, and then that’s when everybody started panicking,” the 22-year-old college student said.

While many praised Dubey for his actions, he said he didn’t think he had done “anything special.” India has a tradition of “Atithi devobhava”. Talking to a local media outlet, he said, “I know most people would’ve flung open that door.”

“I hope that my 13-year-old son grows up to be just as amazing as they are,”
Dubey said he was in awe of the protestors.

As reports of his generosity were shared, his name started trending on Twitter. There was praise from across the world and people have even stopped by the house to leave flowers and thank you cards.

In India, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in a  tweet thanked “Rahul Dubey for opening your heart and your home to the weak and the oppressed.”

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