Back home to Bihar
Das, 30, is among the many who are investing in a state that they left many years ago because it didn’t offer them enough opportunities for education or business. Their journey back to Bihar reflects the story of the state itself: from a negative GDP growth rate of 5.15 per cent in 2003-2004—a figure filled with stories of millions migrating out of the state—it now clocks a growth rate of 11.03 per cent, the second highest in the country. This turnaround comes with new stories, like those of Das and others who are now returning to the state, looking for opportunities in the government’s ambitious infrastructure projects or simply putting money where their heart is—a fruit processing plant, a water purification unit, a hospital or a school.
Bihar Foundation, a state government initiative set up in January 2008 to get people settled outside the state to invest in Bihar, has 1.5 lakh members across 11 chapters in India, US, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, South Korea and Australia.
“That’s a number that went beyond our expectations in such a short span of time,” says Bihar Foundation CEO KP Ramaiah. Most of the investment by non-resident Biharis is of a “giving back” nature, of contributing to the socio-economic development of the