on 15 Jul 2007, The Times of India.
JAMSHEDPUR: Driven by the desire to migrate or go overseas for a lucrative job, people will do anything. Even hang copies of their passports on a pipal tree in a Jamshedpur dargah in the hope that their act of devotion to a fakir will bear fruit.
Hundreds of passport copies are festooned to the old pipal tree inside the Hazrat Miskin Shah — popularly known as 'Passport baba' — Dargah at the Baredih Kalubagan kabristan in Jamshedpur. Every Thursday, there are serpentine queues of mostly young men waiting with copies of their passports. People of all faiths come here from Orissa, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and even as far as Punjab.
Take, for example, Sandeep Sharma from Jalandhar. He has recently tied a copy of his passport to the tree hoping it'll get him a ticket to the Gulf. So has Sanjit Kumar from Patna and Shakuntala from Bhubaneswar.
"I tried for a job in India after my graduation, but in vain," said Saifuddin, now working in the Gulf. He's convinced he got the job only because of Baba's posthumous intervention after he had tied his passport on the tree and prayed to 'Passport baba'.
"Going by the donations we receive, it is obvious the Baba who came here from Lahore and died in 1934 answers every prayer," said Pir Mohammad, in-charge of the dargah. All the tiles, furniture, lights and fans have been donated by devotees, the Pir added.
Those who can't make the journey send letters along with copies of their passports praying to the Baba for a job and the Pir and his sons hang these on the tree. "You just have to tie your passport and you get to your dream destination," said 21-year-old Shefali, who visited the dargah on Friday.
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