Here is another annual mass marriage arranged for the fatherless girls, this year’s grand event will take place on December 21-22 and will witness 271 brides tying the knot.This will be the eighth edition of the event, the organizers had received applications from 500 brides. With respect to the current slowdown, it became difficult for the organizers to accommodate all at once.
However, among the chosen girls, five are Muslims and one is from Nepal. Two girls are from UP, five from Maharashtra and one each from Jharkhand and Odisha.
One of the main organizers PP Savani group has been spearheading this event right from its launch in 2012.
Group’s chief, Mahesh Savani said, “When we started this activity, we wanted to help Surti girls who have lost their father. Each year, the number kept going up and for the past two years, it has become economically infeasible for us to do it alone. And so, we had the Movaliya family co-host the event for the past two years and this year, in midst of economic recession, the Lakhani family which owns Kiran Gems, will shoulder some responsibility as ‘father’ for these girls.”
The 2012 event saw 23 girls getting married, which jumped to 53 in 2013. In 2014 the number grew to 111 and another 40 were added in 2015 to make the total go up to 151. In 2016, 238 girls were married off, while it went up to 251 in 2017 and then the number jumped to a whopping 555 in 2018 and now 271.
“The celebration has turned into a pan-India celebration and we are happy that our efforts are changing lives of many fatherless girls,” Savani added.
More than a lakh people attend the wedding function and have dinner. All brides are given cash and valuables worth nearly Rs 6 lakh. This year’s 2-day celebration has been named ‘Panetar’ which will be held at PP Savani Chaitanya Vidya Sankul Campus, Mota Varachha in Surat on Saturday and Sunday.