Bengalis in Old City still await caste certificates

Deccan Chronicle.  | Ather Moin

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Many Bengalis ready to settle in Hyderabad if government provides them the facilities

A majority of Bengalis live in and around Ghansi Bazar division of Charminar Constituency.

HYDERABAD: More than one lakh Bengali people are enjoying the fruits of employment in Telangana and a majority of them live in and around Ghansi Bazar division of Charminar Constituency. However, only 20,000 of them have voter identity cards.

Srimath Sardar, a Bengali  youth, who addressed an election meeting of MIM candidate Parveen Sultana from the division, said most of them belong to poor artisan families.

He said “we are engaged in the gold jewellery and furniture making sector and textile industry. I am a teacher and survive on tuitions. Although we all wish to participate in the GHMC electoral process, most of us could not obtain a voter identity card.”

He said that most of them had adopted Hyderabad, where people treat them like family members.

“We get jobs and houses on rent without much difficulty. We appeal to the government to adopt us as well. We are ready to settle here forever,” he said, speaking for a majority of his fellow-settlers.

He urged the government to extend scholarships to their children as they were poor and cannot afford fees, despite the eagerness to study.

Deepa Das said her family has settled here for the last 13 years. Her family members are involved in ornament making.

“Though we are now able to speak in Hindi and Urdu, and even Telugu, we do not want to lose our mother tongue. I wish the government introduces Bengali in select schools so that our children, who are growing here, will be fluent in Bengali. Unfortunately, we are not even getting caste certificates here”, she said.

Mohammed Abdul Razzaq said although most of the families have settled here, they remain attached to the homeland.

“Some families go to their hometown during festivals and return. If the State Government provides caste certificates and extends other facilities, many Bengalis will settle here forever,” he said.