Commending Viraj Puriby Former Representative Eni F. H. Faleomavaega
Posted on 2013-12-11
of american samoa
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Viraj
Puri, a 13-year-old student at Kilmer Middle School in Vienna,
Viraj is interested in technology, music, advocacy, and writes a blog about mobile devices. He is also a certified DJ (DJ Droid) and built his own powerful computer which he uses for his DJ performances. Viraj performs in front of kids, adults and seniors.
As an Indian American teenager, Viraj saw the effects of bullying on his older brother and decided to blend advocacy and technology. He built a website which can be accessed at www.bullyvention.com.
Viraj's website calls for teenagers to Write on Washington, to make their voices roar by contacting their lawmakers and urging them to join the campaign to stop bullying now. Viraj believes that kids who are bullied need to know they are powerful enough to reach out to those in position to make a difference.
Bullyvention is the first site to team up with the U.S. House of Representatives' Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus (CABC). Viraj's website trends from Capitol Hill where he interviews Members of Congress who have a story to share or advice to give victims of bullying.
In support of his vision that the ``pen is mightier than the sword,'' Viraj has been successful in getting Members of Congress involved in a campaign he calls Raise Your Pen. Former Speaker and now Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has raised her pen to stop bullying now. President Barack Obama also sent a message of praise and a note of encouragement in response to a hand-written letter Viraj sent to him.
I am pleased that Viraj is also interviewing and posting photos of State Attorneys General, School Superintendents, and others who want to join the campaign. He is creating an online interactive map that highlights areas of concern by searching though keywords in social media like Facebook, Instagram, etc., and by school district, state, and county. It is the only interactive map on this subject.
I commend Viraj for taking a public stand against bullying and for putting his technology skills to use in a way that draws all of us together. His work, especially with Members of Congress, on behalf of teens across America is the first of its kind. And so, for historical purposes, I submit this statement for the Congressional Record to recognize Viraj for his advocacy efforts. Viraj is a remarkable young man with a very bright future. I am proud to know him, and I extend to him and his family my kindest regards and best wishes.