The journey from Place of Shame to Hall of Fame

Patna, March 22: Twenty-seven-year-old Saurabh Verma left for Delhi right after completing his graduation in the state. He wanted to carve a bright future for himself in the career capital of the country.

Seven years have passed ever since. Saurabh is now a middle-level executive in an MNC in the capital but today he is a much more proud Bihari. Given an opportunity, he would love to return to the state and work here. And as Bihar celebrates Bihar Divas for the first time today, youngsters like Saurabh, who left the state for better education and career prospects, are proud to wear the ‘Bihari’ tag on their sleeves.

“Till a few years ago, many people used to hide the fact that they are from Bihar for fear of drawing unwanted comments and jokes. It was something Biharis were ashamed of. They would take pride if someone said that they did not sound or behave like a Bihari. The scene is completely transformed now. Bihar is making waves for unprecedented development and now being a Bihari is something really cool. Given a chance, I would love to contribute to the development of the state,” said Saurabh over telephone from New Delhi.

Poonam Chaudhary, a 24-year-old student of social communication media at Sophia College, Mumbai, said even her friends in college have changed their attitude towards Biharis. Bihar is rapidly changing and is suddenly known for many good things and the changes are not only confined to drastic improvement in law and order but in other fields like infrastructure, education, job opportunities and many more. My friends outside the state are talking a lot about the fast development in Bihar. As for example, the girls in my college who come from different corners of the country enjoy speaking Bihari Hindi nowadays. I feel so proud of my state now,” she said.

“I still remember days whenever I left home, my mother would insist that I got back home before sunset. Now, when I go home during vacations, I am comfortably out till late in the evening. There is a sense of security not just within myself but with my parents as well. This is just one example of how Bihar has become secure for women,” she added.

Swati Singh, a Delhi-based PR professional who did her bachelor in mass communications from Patna Women’s College and moved outside for a job, says the changes were unbelievable.

“I was pleasantly surprised to see the changes when I went to my hometown Patna after almost four years. However, the government is yet to focus on creating job opportunities so that youngsters like me can establish themselves in the state. I wish I were there to contribute to the dignity and development of my state,” said Swati.

Sameer Anand, an animation student in Delhi who hails from Samastipur, expressed similar views. “Now that the Nitish-led government has prepared environment conducive for development, their focus should be to ensure specialised education opportunities and development of private sector to plug the brain drain,” said a zealous Sameer.