Dubai : Bihar Day

The Bihar Foundationís proceedings begin with the traditional lighting of the lamp

Branding Bihar in the UAE Diaspora

Last month, the Bihar Foundationís United Arab Emirates Chapter celebrated Bihar Day at the Hotel Movenpick, Dubai. It was a call to the Bihari Diaspora to be part of Biharís developmental process. A bureau report

Bihar is blazing a few trails. And so did the Bihar Foundation that celebrated Bihar Day in Dubai on March 22. In an effort aptly called Bonding and Branding, the Foundationís UAE Chapter chaired by prominent Indian businessman Omer Hejazeen invited top Indian diaspora members to attend in what was an effort to showcase Biharís investment potential. A full house with over 250 people was in attendance.

It is no secret that during the last few years Bihar has made tremendous progre≠ss. According to the latest data generated by the Central Statistical Organization, Biharís growth rate at 11.03 per cent is far ahead of the national average of 8.49 per cent. This phenomenal surge has placed Bihar at second spot among all states in India. Commendable indeed, especially when you consider that until a few years ago Bihar was one state from where investors wanted to stay away.

We believe this is the right time for the Bihari diaspora in the UAE to consider Bihar as an investment destination. The state is now the second-fastest growing one in India according to available data
óOmer Hejazeen, Chairman, Bihar Foundation UAE Chapter

It was soon after the ďGlobal Meet for a Resurgent BiharĒ, organized in January 2007, that the Bihar Government formed the Bihar Foundation ( It was set up to involve the Bihari diaspora, its ideas and energy, in the branding of the state. The initial efforts were started with the initiative of then President of India APJ Abdul Kalam. 

Following the traditional lighting of lamp, the Chairman of the UAE Chapter of Bihar Foundation, Omer Hejazeen, provided a moving welcome speech in which he said that the time was indeed right for all Non-Resident Biharis (NRBs) in the UAE to start presenting their ideas on the development of Bihar. He urged the 46,000 NRBs to make their choice now. The state is on an upward growth curve, and any investment now would prove to be beneficial, given the current positive economic and political climate. Hejazeen encouraged NRBs to chalk out a concrete action plan in the area they would like to contribute.
Chief Guest Monazir Hasan, Member of Parliament from India, flew in specially to attend this event. He pointed out the success of the present Government in Bihar in all aspects of development, leading to the high ranking among all states in the country. He too urged the Bihari diaspora to come forward and contribute towards the development of the motherland.

( from left ) Monazir Hassan, MP, Francis Xavier Xaxa, first secretary and 
consul, CGI, Dubai, Omer Hejazeen, chairman, BF UAE chapter, Krishnamurthy Kumar, convenor, Indian Community Welfare Committee, Sushil Kumar, businessman

Guest of Honor Francis Xavier Xaxa, first secretary and consul (labour and welfare) at the Consulate General of India in Dubai, said that the Indian mission was committed to solving a range of problems of the diaspora in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. He said that his help would always be available for the Bihar Foundation UAE Chapter.

Prominent member of the Indian Diaspora, Krishnamurthy Kumar, spoke on extending full support to the Bihar Foundationís UAE Chapter. Kumar, a Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awardee from the President of India is the convenor of the Indian Community Welfare Committee in Dubai. He is also the Founder Governor of the Indian Business and Professional Council, an organization that works under the umbrella of the powerful Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

The concluding speech, an emotional one, was delivered by another prominent member of the Indian diaspora, businessman Sushil Kumar. He spoke of Biharís rich history and the importance of the Bihari identity and how the time had come to restore the stateís earlier glory. Truly, Bihar is on its way to connect with its diaspora in a big way.

April 2010

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