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Cool Bihari: Bihar's Transformation Journey

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Bihar's Transformation Journey

Bihar is witnessing a slow and steady transformation these days and the heroes of this journey are its often ignored human capital. We have so many success stories today which have been path breaking and also been augmenting incremental change in the social landscape of Bihar. These stories are definite signs of Bihar’s turnaround story. These happens to be few of the most unbelievable things which one would expect to hear from Bihar.

Take the example of Kaushalendra, a topper from IIM-Ahmedabad, who decided to forsake rewarding and cozy corporate life and go for setting up a vegetable distribution network which intends to promote brand Bihar by supplying fresh vegetable.

''My dream is to make Bihar the vegetable hub of the country. I want to see vegetables in the name of Brand Bihar in the every plate of Indians,'' he says.

What made Kaushalendra go off the beaten path was his close links with his native village in Nalanda where cultivating vegetables is a way of life. Born to modest vegetable farmers’ family in central Bihar’s Ahmad Nagar village (Nalanda), Kaushilendra received his education in a rural government school while assisting his family in farming. Nalanda, incidentally, is known as the “vegetable bowl” of Bihar.

If this was not enough, the amazing journey of Drishtee in transforming the rural landscape in Madhubani, Bihar deserves special mention. This is perhaps one of the most unique BPO’s in the country, set up in Bihar and run by people from socially underprivileged section of the social strata.

Located in Saurath Village this initiative has empowered locals to think beyond the regular means of earning livelihood. The employees of this call centre mostly communicate in Hindi but they are slowly gearing up to speak and communicate effectively in English.

"We need to engage them to stop this problem of brain drain and migration. I feel if we are able to do this, then these problems will stop to a great extent. I believe this is the first of its kind, the first rural BPO in India," said Kamlesh Kumar, the manager of Drishti Business Process Outsourcing. "We want to learn things in life so that it helps us ahead in life. We are from backward area. This training in computers and BPO will really help us," said Alok Kumar Thakur, a trainee. There are around 35 literate boys and girls from the village who are undergoing a three-month training course.

If India has to truly come up to face the talent challenges and bridge the rural-urban digital divide ,success stories like this will go a long way in creating more opportunities for the needy and under privileged.

The success of students from Patwatoli village from Gaya in Bihar is also a unique phenomena .More than 100 students have cracked the most competitive IIT-JEE entrance exam over the years.Most of these students belong to poor weaver’s community and together they have changed the milieu of this village by ensuring that they bring honour to their families and village by ensuring high success rate in the competition.

Every year students of this village are guided by their seniors who share their experience and learning with these aspirants .They study together, share the same textbooks(mostly passed on by seniors) and burn the midnight oil together to achieve their goals within limited means.

Despite the odds, the only guiding mantra for them is the inspiration they get from others who have already made it to the IIT’s and their approach of group study has helped them change the destiny of the entire village. Together these heroes have changed the way the world looks at them and also created inspiring success stories.

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