Singapore signs up - Bijhar binds Bihar, Jharkhand with roots

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  • Published 23.05.07

Jamshedpur, May 23: Hunger for homeland love among select group of that Indian diaspora gave birth to “Bijhar”, which, four years down the line, is one of the most vocal platforms for Biharis and Jharkhandis staying in Singapore today.

A brainchild of Sanjeev Kumar Roy, former student of St. Xavier’s School, Ranchi, and IIT (BHU), Bijhar, as the name suggests, stands for an association of Bihar and Jharkhand people.

Officially formed in 2003, Bijhar has over 200 members who were either born or at some point of time stayed in either of the two states.

“In Singapore, people of Bihar often met informally, but there was no platform as such. It was about a few years back when I came across some like-minded people and Bijhar was formed,” Sanjeev Roy, president of Bijhar, told The Telegraph over telephone from Singapore.

But why Bijhar? Pat came the reply: “Bi for Bihar and ‘jhar’ for Jharkhand. The two might be separated but we are still a part of the same land,” Roy added.

So what started as an attempt to unite Biharis and Jharkhandis in Singapore, fast developed into a socio-cultural platform of people from the two states staying in Singapore.

“We discuss how to improve ties among the two states, observe our festivals and fund NGOs working in the interiors of Bihar and Jharkhand,” said Sudeep Kumar, senior executive of Bijhar, who passed out of Delhi Public School, Bokaro, before moving to IIT (Kanpur) and a job at Tata Motors.

Bijhar got even better in October last year when Roy and his group of friends launched their portal And, if Roy was the brain behind Bijhar, its honorary secretary Rajesh Anand from Motihari, who completed degree from BIT (Mesra) in Ranchi, and Sudeep Kumar prize their portal.

“Right now we are working with four NGOs for the uplift of the poor and underprivileged,” added Rajesh. Bijhar is helping Children and Mother Earth (COME) of Gorakhpur, Gramin and Nagar Vikas Parishad (GNVP) and Nidan in Patna and Jharkhand Vikas Nyas (JVN), Ramgarh.

The organisation had a discussion with former chief minister Babulal Marandi when he visited Singapore in 2002 on how to strengthen their ties and early this week they gave a nod to the Nitish Kumar government for Bijhar to be part of the Bihar Foundation — an association of Biharis living around the globe.

“Sushil Modi, deputy chief minister of Bihar, was here recently. When he made a proposal, we accepted it readily,” added Roy.

Apart from being a social networking site, Bijhar offers latest updates on Bihar and Jharkhand, a complete gourmet gallery, book reviews, blog, details on festivals and events and several features pertaining to the two states. If that’s not all, the group plans to launch soon their branches in Malyasia, Thailand and other South East Asian countries.