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Cool Bihari: August 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

German MNC in Bihar

Thanks to the effort of Ravi Shankar and Ajay Kumar, Bihar has entered the global knowledge industry with a German MNC, Biobase, deciding to open its production and training centre in the state. Biobase helps resolve the bioinformatic challenges of its customers worldwide. It helps rationalise drug development time and cost and improves the quality and outcome of drug development research.

Persistent effort and perfect collaboration between Ravi who is a Bihari Bioinformatician from Biobase and the non conformist approach of Principal Secretary Ajay Kumar ,Biobase CEO Michael Tysiak flew down here on Sunday to discuss the final details of opening the centre with state science and technology department.

We will be the local consultants of the company and facilitate in the provision of infrastructure needed to open the centre," said department principal secretary Ajay Kumar Thakur. He described the development as a major lead for the state towards integration with knowledge industry. "In India the company has its office in Bangalore. The very fact that it has chosen Bihar for expansion is a very positive development and it will boost the image of the state," he said.

"This is the first time a top-knowledge product is going to set-up a base in Bihar," Thakur said. He said his department will be associated with Biobase in setting up an academy and research centre. "The centre will take 30 students and train them in biological database. The students will either be absorbed in Biobase or will get highly-paid jobs in other companies since there is a dearth of biotechnology experts," he said, adding if everything works out well, the company should start its production centre within two months.

It’s heartening to see this kind of effort; we need more sons of Bihar like Ravi who can take the lead to bring more organizations to Bihar. What is really comforting to see is the fact that few years back majority of bihari folks would not even mention that they belong to Bihar and now we see a complete change of situation and we have guys like you trying to reverse the situation by bringing these MNC's to Bihar .

This should definitely open the eyes of many of us who still keep cribbing that first the ground realities need to change in bihar and then they can initiate the process of inviting companies or investing in Bihar. This is a welcome move and it will go a long way in showcasing the changes in Bihar and also help in tapping the immense human resource capital of Bihar.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

'Chak De India" girl from Bihar

'Chak De India' has special links with the state of Bihar as one of the prominent character among the 11 players of the women's Hockey team, Shilpa Shukla originally belongs to Hajipur in Vaishali district.

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Twenty-seven-year-old Shilpa had six years of experience with theatre before bagging the Centre-half position in Shah Rukh Khan starrer ''Chak De India'' and has one in hand starring Abhay Deol.

Shilpa is excited about her playing a lead role opposite Abhay Deol in her coming movie ''Junction''.

'' For me, acting was always a passion and Khamosh Pani was the gate to Chak De, which has now given me a bigger platform, '' Shilpa said adding Director Shimit Amin cast her after seeing ''Khamosh Pani''.

When asked about her experience of working with veteran actors like Shah Rukh Khan and Kiron Kher, Shilpa said she was learning new things at every stage.

Shilpa, who got a hockey stick from her husband as a valentines day gift two days after she was selected, said, '' Chak De has imbibed within me the feeling of oneness and love for our National game. '' '' I had earlier no idea about hockey.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tribute to Dashrath Manjhi

Dashrath Manjhi the man who moved mountains and made this metaphor a reality died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on Friday evening. He was suffering from cancer of gall bladder.

His body is being brought to Gaya by Purashottam Express on Saturday. Condoling the death of Manjhi, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced State funeral for the ‘mountain man’. The last rites will be performed either at Gaya or village.

Dashrath Manjhi's claim to fame has been the herculean task of single handedly carving a 360-ft long, 25-ft high and 30-ft wide road by cutting a mountain for 22 years.

The courage and will of legendary Dashrath Manjhi is one of those rare real life incidents which will continue to inspire mankind for ages to come. Our man from Gaya had the fortitude and conviction to move mountains and he made it happen by his sheer perseverance and faith is his efforts to move the mountain. He is an inspiration for all us and just when you feel chips are down and the road ahead seems insurmountable, put yourself in his shoes and imagines the courage it would take to move a mountain.

He may have died but his deeds will always be remembered and will inspire others to think and dare to achieve the impossible. His name and deeds exemplifies that human conviction and determination knows no boundaries and if we dare to dream nothing’s impossible. Tribute to the legend and the great soul from Bihar.

The Gauravshali Bihar book was dedicated to Dashrath Manjhi and T V Sinha has done a great translation of the chapter on Dasrath Manjhi which was written by Uday Narain Choudhary.

Dasrath Manjhi – A symbol of Bihari resilience

His eyes were moist with enchantment as he stood there watching the road through the pass without batting his eyelid. Today his resolve had borne fruit. His resolve could only be compared with that of the legendary Bhagirath who chiselled the mighty Himalayas to bring the holy Ganges to earth. Then he looked at his palms and started to ruminate. For the last twenty two years, he had been chiselling away at the mountain single-handedly and today his effort had borne fruit. Then in a flash his tears of happiness became those of sorrow and started to fall on the rocks in a stream. His mood turned sombre as he remembered his departed wife. It was her suffering that had made him take this seemingly impossible task of creating a path through the mountain all by himself. It was she who was his inspiration for achieving the impossible task. Alas she had passed away before the task could be completed. Perhaps this is what HE had willed.

Then the stream of tears came to an abrupt halt. The weight of sorrow on his heart lifted slowly and he started to smile to himself. So what if his wife was not there to savour this moment. His village folks would now traverse 80 km less to reach the town through his path. It was true that he had taken up this Herculean task by seeing the shadow of helplessness on his dear wife's face, but then wasn't he already feeling impatient at the sufferings of his people? The path had to be made and he had made it.

He jolted himself to return to the real world from his dream world and started to walk to the point where he had started his chiselling. His joy knew no bounds as he traversed through the rocky path that he had created alone. This great soul was Dasrath Manjhi, a resident of the 25 house hamlet of Gehlaur in the Gaya district of Bihar. His is a name in the tradition of the great saint Kabir who was also illiterate like Dasrath Manjhi and had a great desire to break the shackles of sufferings for the masses.

One day a thirsty Manjhi was impatiently waiting for his wife to fetch him water from the other side of the mountain. The unforgiving summer of Gaya had parched his throat dry as the sun beat down mercilessly and he anxiously waited for her to fetch the life giving water. She had taken longer than usual. Then he saw the silhouette of his wife in the distance, coming back empty handed. He asked in a tone of hopelessness mixed with surprise "Why are you coming back empty handed? What happened to the earthen vessel?"

Wife could barely control herself as she replied with sorrow written all over her face that she could not fetch water for him as she slipped and fell down. In the process, the earthen pot broke and she had to return empty handed. She could neither fetch water for him to quench his thirst, nor could she save the pot itself. He saw the grief and helplessness on his wife's face. Guilt ridden helplessness was streaming out in the form of tears from her eyes. This image got etched on his mental screen.

Dashrath Manjhi started to contemplate: My god this hill is standing like a mountain in the path of my people for generations. This is coming in the way between our thirst and water. It has to be removed. He kept thinking for days on end. His manliness got aroused and one day he decided to cut it out of the way. He took a vow that he would not sit idle till he had cut a path through the mountain. He took the chisel and the hammer in his hand and started his expedition. And thus started the resolve to capture the mountain – the mountain of Gilhaur in Gaya district.

Some people would ridicule him. Some would look with utter amazement at his gargantuan effort to chisel the mountain away. But he was not concerned by either praise or ridicule. He just kept at his work chiselling the mountain alone. He even shifted his hut near the mountain so that he need not waste his time in moving back and forth.

After twenty two long years of unbroken effort, he had managed to dig a pathway – fifteen to twenty feet broad and an amazing three hundred and sixty feet long. And this path would reduce the distance with the nearest town by 80 kilometres. The villagers would not have to go around the mountain to reach Wazirgunj again.

This is not the only instance of the steely resolve of Dasrath Manjhi. He once decided to go to Delhi. He did not have enough money to undertake the journey. So he decided to walk all the way, a distance of over one thousand kilometres! During this unique journey, he took the signature of the station masters of the railway stations along the way in his diary.

This man of single minded determination wished to have a hospital opened at his village on a five acre plot. When he met the Chief Minister of the state Mr Nitish Kumar, Nitish felt so overwhelmed that he got up from his chair and asked Dasrath Manjhi to sit there.

As the old saying goes, a man is known by his deed. Indeed the illiterate Dalit from Gilhaur has shown his sublime character by his steely resolve and his determination to bring development to his impoverished people. The district administration honoured him with a special award.

Post script: The last few days of Dasrath Manjhi was spent fighting cancer. He passed away on August 18 at the age of 80 years. He was given a state burial by the Government of Bihar.
Translation by: Thakur Vikas Sinha

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Happy Independence Day

Watch some more images from this young nations here.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Seeking Support for Flood Relief in Bihar

Bihar has seen one of the worst floods in recent times and we are working towards getting some medicines,funds,cloths and any other help for the flood relief work in Bihar. I am presently working with a team which is providing direct help to people who have been affected by the floods in Bihar and also coordinating with people from other organizations in getting whatever possible help we can. Some of the organizations have agreed to provide medicine, machine for clean water and even basic relief material like plastic sheets. Unfortunately the magnitude of disaster and loss of life has not been widely covered by popular media so we are finding it difficult to drum support for this cause. Our effort intends to provide direct relief to people in need and we are soliciting help from all quarters, especially Biharis who can make some contribution for this cause.

You can refer to some of the links below for details on the extent of damage caused.

We are co ordinating our efforts though the yahoo groups/mails and blog ( ) .Our team members from the One Bihar Team are diligently working 24*7 for this operation and we desperately need some help from every quarter.

Do let me know if your organization or you as an individual would like to contribute for this humanitarian cause. Please let me know in case you are willing to support us in whatever way you can. We are also seeking contributions through Prayaas( so please come forward and lend your valuable support.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Blogging -Bihari Style

It’s a nostalgic delight for every bihari to go down memory lanes and rediscover the old world which we have left behind in our villages, small towns and our roots in bihar, when we get to hear or read “Apna Bihari Boli”.Somewhere it strikes a very raw emotional chords in our hearts as these words takes us back to those small lanes, simple hassle free life when our days where simple and we were growing up to understand the ways of the world.

Our very own Mukhiya jee has recently started his Daalaan blog which has its own unique charm and flavour.It’s a treat to go through these posts as these good old lines haves a balmy effect on our mind and one just gets lost in old days when our Grannies and chachies would utter them and we never realized that we will miss them so much one day when they are not around.Here's what you can expect when you visit Mukhiya jee's Daalaan.

कोठिया अमीरिया देखी देखी
भर गयील जियरा हमार
कि हमारा गांव ही मे रहे के विचार बा

नन्ही बूटी रहनी ता
बकरी चरईनी
नहर मे गमछी से
मछरी मुअईनी

हमारा निमन लागे
टुटही मडईया
कि बगले मे पकवा ईनार बा
कि हमारा गांव ही मे रहे के विचार बा
कि हमारा गांव ही मे रहे के विचार बा

Also I would like to thank Ravish who is another cool bihari journalist and star hindi blogger in the blogsphere.I think he is doing a great job of reviving Hindi journalism and his style of writing is really special.Our man from Motihari is indeed a special blogger and I sincerely thank him for his hilarious and hard hitting blog, which is frank, candid and his stories touches us in some or other ways.

बरसाती की छत से जुड़े कई मकानों की एक खिड़की जब भी खुलती थी लड़की झांकती नज़र आती। एनसीईआरटी की प्राचीन भारत की किताब में मगध साम्राज्य के पतन के कारणों को पढ़ते पढ़ते वह कई बार मोहब्बत की कल्पनाओं में गिरने लगता। जब भी वो लड़की आती, मगध साम्राज्य का अहं टूट जाता। बिना उसके देखे या देख लिये जाने की उम्मीद में वह पिघलता हुआ सा एक लड़का था। बिहारी। यह नाम नहीं। मगर इस नाम के बिना दीपक नाम का कोई मतलब भी नहीं। बरसाती में रहने वाला बिहारी।

We are lucky to have them here in the blogsphere and re-discover our roots through their writings.

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  • I'm Ajit Chouhan
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