A walk down lanes of busy markets in and Charminar will tell us how the City has been home to many migrants. Shantiram Bokadia, migrated to Hyderabad 34-years-ago from his village in Rajasthan in hope of a better future. Hyderabad had not belied his hopes. “I opened a small store where I sold unbranded silver jewellery. Initially the business was very slow but with the passage of time I earned the faith of people and now the business is good,” says Shantiram. Many jewellery stores operating in the Old City are owned and managed by the second generation of migrators from Rajasthan. Not only have they made the City their home but have also contributed to the trade and commerce.
“I’ve accepted this as my home. Though I have great affection for my native town, I would still call Hyderabad as home. My children are more Hyderabadi than the neighbourhood children,” laughs Praveen, owner of a gold jewellery showroom at Patherghat, Charminar. But there some problems which we Rajasthani’s face. One of them is that there is not enough governmental support,” Praveen shares.
Aas matrimony is concerned, most Rajasthanis try to get their life partners from their ancestral hometowns . “Though we do not have a problem in settling down anywhere in the world, we like to go back to our hometown to search for partners and in case we don’t find a suitable mate, we look in other cities. There are agencies and the Samaj also helps,” he added.
There are around 1.25 lakh Rajasthanis who live and work in Hyderabad. Maheshwaris and Sikhwals are present in Hyderabad. “Hyderabad is so much like Delhi and Mumbai, yet so different. This has a lot to do with the warm people here,”says Milap Chand .
Some of them have occupied high positions such as Prem Singh Rathod (ex-MLA), Vijay Lakshmi Kabra (ex-corporator) and B Kishanlal Agarwal (ex-mayor). There are associations which organise programmes and help the poor and needy.
A very important festival which Rajasthanis celebrate in Hyderabad is Deepavali. “We have meetings every fortnight. During festivals, we celebrate in a traditional way,” says Narayan Das Mundala, president, Maheshwari Samaj Mandal. “We initially had a problem but now are comfortable,” says Ashok jain. “Hyderabad is a home away from home,” he added. “We initially had language problems, but now are fluent in Telugu,” says Nayan Parikh.