Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign launched an initiative on Sunday to reach out to the Sikh community in the United States. It has vowed to address the unique challenges, such as “racism, xenophobia and discrimination”, faced by the minority communities in the US.

The Biden campaign, which launched the ‘Sikh Americans for Biden’, said it has plans for protecting Sikh-American youths in schools.

Sikh-Americans experience bullying at rates twice the national average and have reported a spike in these encounters since 2017, the campaign said in a press release on Sunday.

“The Biden campaign plans to highlight the specific plans and policies that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has outlined in his platform to address the unique challenges that the Sikh community faces with regards to racism, xenophobia and discrimination,” it said.

Kiran Kaur Gill, a prominent civil rights activist and member of the Sikh American National Leadership Council, alleged that President Donald Trump has not only turned a blind eye to bullying and discrimination but has also encouraged it.

The Sikh American National Leadership Council is an advisory council to the ‘Sikh Americans for Biden’.

With Biden as the US president, Sikh-Americans can feel safer in schools and on the streets, Gill said in a statement.

“(Former) vice-president Biden has a track record of taking stances against hate, discrimination and bullying, and his leadership on these issues matter to our community,” she said.

The former vice-president’s campaign has vowed that if voted to power, the Biden administration would allocate additional federal funding for anti-bullying initiatives.

In a joint statement, Josh Dickson, the National Faith Engagement director for the Biden campaign, and Seema Sadanandan, a policy advisor for the campaign, said Biden has committed to a number of initiatives that garner strong support from the Sikh-American community.

“For example, a Biden administration would allocate additional funding to the Department of Justice and the Department of Education for anti-bullying initiatives. Biden has also cited specific plans to re-establish the Obama-Biden White House AAPI Bullying Prevention Task Force, which would partner with community organisations, including Sikh non-profits,” they said.

As the US is gearing up for the November election, both the candidates are seeking to woo the minority communities.

Former vice-president Joe Biden and President Donald Trump will face each other in the presidential election, scheduled for November 3.