India and Nepal not only share an open border of over 1,700 kilometers but have an age-old ‘Roti-Beti’ (Bread & Daughter) relationship, which binds the people culturally and socially.
The daughters of Nepal are married in the Indian states of Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, then in Nepal also the young girls of these states get married.
The deepening of Indo-Nepal relations can also be witnessed from the fact that during Makar Sankranti, the King of Nepal used to send Khichadee (Polenta) to offer to Guru Gorakhnath. The tradition continues till today.
There are many organisations working constantly to maintain these historical relations intact. Nepal India Friendship Association is a major institution working in this direction. The foundation was laid only in 1955 when the then President of India, Dr Radhakrishnan visited Nepal, but in 1981, the institution continued its work by officially registering itself, with its head office in Kathmandu.
This institution, which has been working to strengthen the relations between Nepal and India for the last 40 years, is still active with its goal.
Srichand Gupta, who hails from Siddharthanagar formerly Bhairahawa district, has been associated with this institution for the last 40 years. He is also the president of the Nepal-India Friendship Association from Belahia in Nepal. He says, “Our organisation has been strengthening Nepal-India relations for the last 40 years. We are working to take care of Indian citizens in Nepal.”
There are many other social organisations working in India on strengthening cultural relations with Nepal. Situated in Gorakhpur, India Nepal Friendship Society was established in 2002 to help the people of Nepal in India.
Anil Gupta, the President of India Nepal Friendship Society said his organisation takes care that no Nepali brothers have any problem in India.
From time to time, the organisation also holds meetings with intellectuals of Nepal and India, in which India-Nepal relations are discussed.
Santosh Pandey, a local politician said, “India-Nepal relationship is related to Beti-Roti. If there was no boundary marked between the two countries, it would have been difficult to differentiate between Nepal and India because of the similarity in the cultures.”
Taking his points forward, Santosh Pandey said India has huge support in whatever socio-economic development are seen in Nepal. “In my view, India Nepal had a relationship with the origin of this Earth, which no one can deny,” he said.