Telanganites in Jeddah Celebrated Telangana Creation Day

Indian expatriates launched the Telangana United Forum (TUF) here recently as part of their celebrations to mark the creation of the new state.

The TUF would take up education and developmental concerns of non-resident Indians (NRIs) from the state. Well-known Indian community leaders Siadath Ali Khan is president of the TUF, while prominent poet Mahtab Qadr is vice president.

Several prominent Indians support the initiative, including Obaid Bajhao, Sharief Aslam, Mohammed Waseem, Idris Faridi and Mohammed Sayeeduddin Hyder.

Speaking at the inaugural session, Khan said the main purpose of the forum was to act as a bridge between the new government and the NRIs from the state. “It is a new beginning and we are all delighted and happy that people from Telangana have a state of their own,” he said.

Khan said it was a long and hard struggle to create the new state. “I took part in the struggle during my student days in 1969 before I came to Saudi Arabia. We suffered because of it. It is, therefore, a time of great joy for us that our dream has finally come true.”

He made an appeal to the national government to return fees it had collected from NRIs who had come to work in the Gulf region in the 1980s. Every Indian had to pay 1,950 Indian rupees (SR120). “This money is still lying with the Delhi government. We appeal to the state government to make every effort to get this money and use it for the benefit of NRIs from Telangana.”

He congratulated the new Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and urged him to focus on the issues of the NRIs. He called for setting up a pension scheme for those returning from abroad, similar to the one run by the Kerala government.

Khan said the new state enjoys immense goodwill among NRIs in the Gulf, especially Saudi Arabia. He appealed to Indian community members to help each other. “Our doors are open to all expats and we welcome ideas and suggestions from community members, to make the most of the opportunity that has come our way.”

He thanked the many young and educated people, especially Sayeeduddin Hyder, who gave the TUF ideas on the way forward.

Mahtab Qadr, the TUF vice president, said the forum has no political agenda. “We are of the view that we are very well represented politically by the able leadership of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen President Asaduddin Owaisi. We aim to move forward under his direction. Our primary focus will be the development of the community and the underprivileged classes. We will work for the unity of the community.”

Other prominent Indians who were present at the meeting included Khak-e-Taiba Trust President Ahmed Abdul Hakeem, community leader Bader Ansari, KTT Computer Center Director Imran Kauser, philanthropist Osman Yeslam Binmahfouz, Saudi-Indian Business Network’s Memon A. Kader Sait, Indian Youth Welfare Association’s Ghazanfar Ali Zaki, Nizam Ali Khan, Mohammed Ishaque, Liyaquat Ali Khan, Nawab Mazharuddin and Ahmed Yezdani.

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