Over 10 lakh migrants return to Bihar for Chhath

According to officials from East Central Railway, about 1.5 to 2 lakh passengers are arriving every day in Bihar from across the country since last week to celebrate Chhath

Patna: Bihar is witnessing the return of its natives in droves. In the last one week or so, migrants returned to their respective villages and towns to celebrate the Chhath festival, the biggest community celebration, with their families and relatives.

Devotees pray on the second day of Chhath Puja yesterday. Pic/PTI
Devotees pray on the second day of Chhath Puja yesterday. Pic/PTI

According to a conservative estimate, over a million Bihari migrants working across the country, as well as abroad, have returned home to infuse ‘new life’ into the festivities. “Most migrants have returned in the last one week, while thousands are still on the way. Many failed to make it as there was no place in long-route trains,” a labour department official said.

“We have come to celebrate Chhath with our family, relatives and friends,” said Mukesh Rai, in his mid-40s. He reached Patna railway station on Monday evening, on way to his village in neighbouring Vaishali district. Mukesh works in a garment export factory in Ludhiana, Punjab.

“After arriving in Patna from every part of India, they (migrants) are boarding packed buses and trains to reach their villages across the state,” said Bhola Singh, who works as a supervisor in a cement factory in Gujarat.

According to officials at the East Central Railway headquarters at Hajipur, near Patna, 1.5 to 2 lakh passengers have been arriving everyday in Bihar from across the country in more than 250 trains since last week to celebrate Chhath.

“All trains from Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Chandigarh, Surat and Ahmedabad are packed to capacity, thanks to a huge rush for Chhath,” a railway official said.

Besides putting smiles back on the faces of their old parents, and kith and kin, the return of migrants has provided fresh impetus to socio-economic activities. Savings brought along by them means their families are spending more on both essentials and fancy goods and thus the state economy is getting a boost, spurred by Chhath purchases. The four-day festival, devoted to the Sun god, began on Sunday and ends on Wednesday.

250
Number of trains arriving at Patna station daily for the
past one week

Puja at Lalu, Nitish homes

Patna: Days after their landslide victory in Bihar Assembly polls, Grand Alliance leaders, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, are celebrating Chhath festival at their residences.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his family perform Chhath puja in Patna yesterday. Pic/PTI
RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his family perform Chhath puja in Patna yesterday. Pic/PTI

Senior party leaders and newly-elected legislators visited their leaders’ residence to take ‘prasad’ on the occasion of ‘Kharna’ yesterday — the second day of the four-day festival. 

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