Many Biharis had migrated for better opportunities to the City they now call home
Hyderabad has many aspects that represent an amalgamation of the north and the south. Literally, north meets south here and the one main reason is that there is no language barrier, say the people from Bihar who have been staying in the City since many years.
There are around four to five lakh people from Bihar residing in the Twin Cities. Most of them live in Mangalhat, Dhoolpet, Gangabowli, Jeedimetla, Balanagar, Alwal, Gowliguda and also in pockets of Old City.
“Hyderabad is home for us but our roots are still in Bihar. We keep visiting our home town which is near Patna at least once a year. Though we stay in Hyderabad, we very much follow the culture of Bihar. Be it the chhath Puja or typical Bihari Holi we celebrate it the way it is celebrated in Bihar”, said Thakur Jagdev Singh, a resident of West Marredpally.
“My grandsons are more fluent in Telugu and Deccan Hindi as compared to the Bihari languages as they occasionally visit Bihar. Language needs practice. However, they understand the language well,” he adds.
The people from the community religiously follow all their customs and traditions. Dussera, Naga Panchami, Navaratri, Holi, Diwali, Teej, Makar Sankranti, Maha-Shivaratri, Sarhul, Soharai, Karma festivals are some of their major festivals celebrated in Hyderabad. Chhath Puja is the major attraction among their festivals. Every year the puja is observed in Hussain Sagar lake and Alwal Pond.
The members from the community actively take part in charity and donations too. They also participate in several religious activities like donating statues of deities to temples and other donations. They also play an important role in organising disaster relief in form of funds, supplies etc. All this is done through a common platform or association called the Bihar Association of Hyderabad (BAH).
The association is registered by the Andhra Pradesh government. There are more than 5,000 members in the association. The members actively plan meetings and programmes for the upcoming festivals wherein people from the community can interact and get to know each other under one roof.
They have annual meetings wherein they invite dignitaries and distinguished people from Bihar. The other functions of this association is to share knowledge, information and news which helps male the members of the community aware and also provide a common platform for networking and extending a helping hand as and when it is needed.
Old timers from the City say many people from Bihar migrated to Hyderabad in search of livelihood and earnings.
“Earlier the employment opportunities in Bihar were less as compared to other states in India. However it’s not same now as there are lot of opportunities in Bihar now, but we don’t want to go back as Hyderabad is home for us now. We have settled here and are not interested to relocate” said, Mahendra Pratap, a resident of Mangalhat and member of BAH .
Youngsters from the community are in big posts here. Many of them are work with the Municipal Corporation, Collectors Office and Tourism Department, banks, and in the corporate sector.
However, not all are affluent. The less educated lot from the community opt to work as construction labourers in the City. Others are into real estate, goldsmiths or wholesale dealers of imitation jewellery and clothing.