Ajay Kumar is a soft-spoken and a suave gentleman, who
I met for the first time in November 1999, after he had
launched bihartimes.com a website aimed at addressing
Bihars issues, in totality. Then, signs of anxiety
to keep the site afloat in a state mired in backwardness,
culture of violence and abhorrence for anything creative,
was writ large on his face. After all, it was an extremely
hard task for him coming from a middle-class family with
hardly any substantial capital.
was through him that I came to know that eminent author
and columnist Arvind Narayan Das had agreed to contribute
in the bihartimes.com without any payment. Yours truly,
too, assured Ajay of support. And over the years, the
website shaped itself as the only portal on Bihar providing
all sorts of news related to the state and just a click
away. It also emerged as a major link between Biharis
living in different parts of the world and their homeland.
bihartimes.com successfully launched a Friends of
Bihar network and in a few years got 2,500 registered
friends spread across 60 countries.
years down the line, it is heartening to learn that the
bihartimes.com is the main party, along with Institute
for Human Development, in organising a three-day global
meet on resurgent Bihar commencing from January 19. I
know it was bihartimes.com team that first thought of
inviting President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to grace the meet.
Subsequently, chief minister Nitish Kumar, whose government
is actively supporting the global meet, followed it up
with a formal invitation, which the President has accepted.
In fact, both the chief minister and his net-savvy deputy
Sushil Kumar Modi have realised the portals potential
to link non-resident Biharis with the states development
the site began with only 5,640 hits. But unruffled by
the initial struggle Ajay and his wife Sujata kept on
enriching the portal by involving the Unicef to sponsor
development alerts and a first-ever electronic seminar
on Poverty in Bihar.The site recorded its
highest ever 33,98,634 hits in November 2005 after Assembly
polls. By then it was rich with large database on the
states developments and poll-related statistics.
dedication and creativity, Ajay and his able wife Sujata
have proved the adage, where there is will there
is way. Ajay is also an inspiration for the people
of Jharkhand for the lad received his education locally,
in Ranchis Vikas Vidyalaya. Later, he did his masters
from Patna University.
and his website attracted the attention of many international
newspapers, too, which wrote sumptuous reports on it.
Well done Ajay! Heres wishing all the best to them
on the eve of the global meet.