The sub-nationalism of Bihar was on full display at The Copthorne Hotel in Doha, where hundreds of non-resident Biharis gathered to celebrate the 101st birthday of their home state.
Organised by the World Bihar Organisation, Qatar, and Bihar Foundation, Qatar, (affiliated to Indian Cultural Centre under the aegis of the Indian Embassy) last Friday, the glitzy event began with a recitation from the Quran. Master Luqman, member, Kainat Foundation, read from the text.
Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and Bihar Foundation chief executive officer Dipak Kumar Singh addressed the event through videoconferencing. Singh is also the secretary of the environment and forest department.
Many citizens of the state were felicitated. Director-general of police Abhayanand was honoured with Excellence Award in Society Reformation; Dr Bindeshwer Pathak, founder, Sulabh International, was given Excellence Award for Humanitarian Support; and Ashfaque Karim, the founder of Katihar Medical College, was given the Excellence Award in Education.
“The motive behind celebrating Bihar Divas is to provide a platform to people from Bihar around the world to work together for betterment of the state,” said Shakil Ahmed Kakvi, chairman, Bihar Foundation, and the president of World Bihar Organisation, Qatar, in his inaugural speech.
He added: “The best tribute that anyone can pay to the state is by contributing towards its development. Contribution to the construction of schools, heath care facilities and other infrastructure will lead to the growth of Bihar. “Don’t ask what Bihar can do for you, ask what you can do for Bihar!”
During the event, 101 candles were lighted to mark the 101 years of the state.
It was followed by a cultural programme, “Ek Sham Bihar Ke Naam”. Members of the Kainat Foundation sang the state anthem and song.
Nadir Abdul Salam, a renowned child artiste in the Gulf, sang a few Bhojpuri songs. Child artistes also presented folk dances and skits.
Bihar Foundation released its magazine Parwaaz.
A seminar on “Vision Bihar 2020” was also organised on the occasion.
Atif Iqbal and Rizwan Ahmed, teachers of Qatar University, spoke on “Renewable energy: status in Bihar” and discoursed about literature and culture in the state respectively. Dr Sajid Atique, a medical practitioner at Hamad Medical College and Hospital in Qatar, discussed the medical and health facilities in the state. Later, Anwar Karim, joint-secretary, World Bihar Organisation, made a presentation on “The road to prosperity of Bihar.”
Azim Abbas, president, Indian Business and Professionals Network, Qatar, was the chief guest of the event. He said the development in Bihar under the leadership of chief minister Nitish Kumar is being appreciated across the globe.
When Bihar Divas was being celebrated in the state from March 21, around 20 students and a few of their teachers from Qatar had come to Patna to take part in the celebrations.