Report by Amarnath Parida; Jagatsinghpur: In all, 10 couples tied the nuptial knot during a mass marriage ceremony held at Kulia village of Balikuda block in Jagatsinghpur district, on Friday. The bridegrooms saying no to the inhuman custom of dowry was the unique characteristic of the ceremony.
In a mass marriage ceremony organized here, 10 couples from poor families tied nuptial knots on Friday. The ceremony organized by a socio-cultural organization ‘Utkaliya Lagono Ustav Samhua, was indeed a dream come true for young men and women who could not afford the expenses of a marriage ceremony.
"I am feeling very nice. I believe what these people have done for the poor people is very good. It helps us a lot financially," said poor SC category bridegroom Santosh Mallick of Olavar village under Balikuda block. "I felt very nice and I want this should happen for other girls who are also poor," said Lituna hailing from Alikana village, a bride. With marriages becoming a costly affair in India, the concept of mass-marriage is gaining popularity among the economically backward classes.
The wedding ceremony organized by this organization was a grand affair in which hundreds of people from different villages and other government officials & police officials came to bless the newly-weds. To make the ceremony more attractive, Oriya songs, bhajans, other songs and dances were performed by the relatives of the couples. This organization not only organizes the wedding of needy and poor but also provides them with utility items. "There is no dowry system ... they provide us with various articles of household use", said Sudarsan Das of Fulahar village, one of the grooms.
Dillip Kumar Mohanty, organiser of the event, said the ceremony was conducted for people who could not afford a lavish wedding. "We conduct these ceremonies for girls who do not have their parents and are very poor. So to help these girls we conduct these mass marriages. We have planned to organize such types of ceremonies in other villages for the girls who are very poor," said Mohanty.
Earlier, this oraganisation collected Rs 1000 from each couple towards registration of marriage and later it has returned this amount with marriage certificate. In-charge SP Mr Bijay Kumar Sahu, sub-collector Mr Brajbandhu Bhol, BDO, Balikuda Mr Lagnjit Rout, IIC, Balikuda police station Mr Sitikant Kanunugo, advoacate Biranarayan Patra who were present on this occasion distributed marriage certificate to each couple.
Guests and organisers not only bears the entire expense of the marriage but also provides household items like cash, TV, utensils, refrigerator, wrist watch, fan, pressure cooker to the couples as gifts in order to help them set up their homes.
Former legislator, Balikuda Mr Umesh Swain who distributed gift Rs 500 to each couple during blessing said ‘this mass wedding ceremony would fulfill the dream of many poor and orphan girls of getting married after being realized by this oraganisation’. He added.