India

Newly married differently abled couples pledge to wear masks


The mass wedding ceremony was attended only by relatives with adherence to COVID-19 guidelines

Eleven differently abled and underprivileged couples, who tied the nuptial knot at a mass wedding ceremony in Udaipur, took a pledge to wear face masks and create awareness until they get the COVID-19 vaccine. The ceremony was attended only by the relatives of the couples on Sunday with adherence to guidelines for containing the epidemic.

Narayan Seva Sansthan (NSS), a philanthropic institution, organised the ceremony for the persons with disability, many of whom had earlier received its assistance through corrective surgery. Donors gifted household items to the newly married couples, while the NSS members wished them a happy conjugal life.

The marriage was a celebration like any other wedding, which included the procession, photography, music and the wedding rituals, though on a low-key scale with social distancing. NSS president Prashant Agarwal said the institution had so far organised 35 mass weddings in which over 2,000 differently abled couples had got married.

“Our no dowry campaign is a flagship drive which has been organised for the last 18 years. This platform has helped the people who find it difficult to marry because of financial constraints and physical difficulties,” Mr. Agarwal said, adding that the life partners could support each other in their struggle.

Couples from Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Bihar, Gujarat and several other States approached the NSS with the request for assistance to support their weddings. Mr. Agarwal said the mass weddings ensured social inclusion and accountability of every differently abled person, in addition to helping them out to lead a normal life and become a part of the mainstream society.

Pooja, who lost one of the legs in an accident and underwent free-of-cost surgery at the NSS, said she was happy to meet her life partner Kamlesh. The bridegroom, who was affected with polio at the age of three, was operated on and can now walk with the help of crutches. He has secured a job as a Panchayat Assistant.

The NSS has taken up activities such as artificial limb distribution, corrective surgery, skill education, health care support, free food offering and talent nurturing along with mass wedding ceremonies for the differently abled. Mr. Agarwal said the institution had launched the World of Humanity Foundation to nurture their skills and enable them to earn a sustainable livelihood.

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