Bihar had hogged the pages of newspapers of various languages in India during the biggest reverse migration after Independence.
At the end of March this year, as the country witnessed a massive surge in Covid-19 cases, the Central government imposed a sudden lockdown across the country without a second thought, opening the way for gloomy consequence. As Bihar is a landlocked state, people of this area hardly get ample means to nourish themselves and their families, which leads to a continuous exodus of bread and butter seekers towards other states. In these circumstances, measures taken to ‘check’ the coronavirus by the government proved to be a big threat for the migrant community, as it was forced to migrate back to their home state in the fear of imprisonment at their adopted states.
The recent election ‘festivities’ in Bihar also kept the state in the headlines. The exit poll indicated an anti-incumbent tendency among Bihar’s electorate. But, the result was surprising and again, gave a chance to ‘Sushasan babu’ (Nitish Kumar) to prove himself in this ‘Game of Thrones’, which masquerades as a fight to impose two polar conceptions of a flawless Bihar. To this end, in my opinion, there are plenty of sectors — namely education, tourism, infrastructure and healthcare — that need to be worked on.
To commence with education, Bihar has been going through a severe lack of basic education. As per the citizens of the state, their children can barely be enlightened in school, because of irregularity or inadequacy of teachers. I believe that reforms in academic policies and proper surveillance will surely open the way for fruitful outcomes for Bihar’s young blood and aid in diminishing the associating spheres such as poverty, crime rate and unemployment in the long run.
Next, as an agrarian state, this region has been coping with critical obstacles such as lack of irrigation facility due to mismanagement of funds. Besides this, flooding of the Kosi river (dubbed as the ‘Sorrow of Bihar’) is a perennial problem. To resolve these ongoing problems, some crucial measures such as contract farming, proper forecasting system for natural calamities (flood, drought, etc.), the availability of quality seeds and fertilisers, and last but not least, establishment of a web of APMCs throughout the state must be set up by the government.
Finally, in the arena of infrastructure, Bihar and Africa are nearly on the same page. Scarcity of amenities such as healthcare, roads and industries has proven to be thorns in the way of advancement of this underdeveloped province. This can be assumed from the current per capita income of Bihar, which is close to Rs 43,000 — a figure far lower than the national average per capita income of Rs 1,36,000.
Moreover, this kind of situation also makes Bihar a backbencher in the list of various indices and parameters. Hence, it is essential to form effective task forces, which can ensure the implementation of government schemes and curb the mismanagement of financial aid in infrastructures.
These have been pressing development agendas for Bihar for a while. It remains to be seen how the political party elected to power addresses these issues in their term. Their policies and actions will determine the future of Bihar.