Mauritius Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam on Tuesday asked the people of Bihar to maintain their laborious nature and grit to help make the state one of the most advanced and prosperous.
In an emotional speech at a public reception organised by villagers and the state government, the visiting prime minister, speaking in chaste Bhojpuri, said it was like a second homecoming for him and his family on reaching this remote village from where his grandfather Mohit Ramgoolam had gone to Mauritius without any money in his pocket.
"But with his sheer grit and determination, he overcame all obstacles and proved himself as one of the most successful Indian emigrants in the Island nation," he added.
"Later on, my father Seewoosagur Ramgoolam took up the mantle from him and turned Mauritius a very prosperous and one of the most successful democracies in the world," the prime minister said.
"Since all my ancestors and a large number of people of Mauritius came from Bihar the state is nothing but a second home for me. I know that the people of Bihar continue to be as laborious as before and have settled at a number of places across the world. I am confident that they have all the abilities to convert their own state into one of the most prosperous regions of India," Ramgoolam said.
But what they need at the moment was a little more self confidence which would soon make them as advanced and forward-minded people as those of Mauritius, he added.
Earlier, welcoming the former son of the soil to his ancestral village, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said by sheer grit and determination the people of Bihar had established themselves in all corners of the country.
"It is very unfortunate that the people of Bihari origin are being pushed back from several states, including Maharashtra. No state can progress without the help of migrant people of Bihar," he observed.
"They are to stay there forever, irrespective of the efforts made by the vested interests to push them out," he declared.
Making the maiden visit of Dr Ramgoolam to Harigaon village memorable, the Bihar government developed a beautiful tank and named it as Mohit Sarovar, Kumar said.
"Similarly, a high school was also set up and named after Seewoosagur Ramgoolam. A 12-bed hospital, to be named after Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam, will also come up in the village at a cost of Rs 5 million," he said, adding, "It is a small gesture on our part to remember the grandson of Bihar."
Recalling his last year's visit to Mauritius, the chief minister said it was wonderful to know that 50 per cent of the people of Mauritius were from Bihar and three-fourth of the country was of Indian origin. Interestingly, over 90 per cent of the people of Mauritius speak Bhojpuri and it was must for a politician there to know Bhojpuri, he added.
Later, while the Mauritius prime minister presented a DVD and a book titled 'Bihar to Mauritius' to Kumar, he was presented a carved wood figurine of Goddess Lakshmi on behalf of the local people.