Jharkhand: Thanks To This NGO, 132 Live-In Couples Get Married In Mass Wedding
In a country like India, a big fat wedding is not just a celebration of two families getting together but also a status symbol – the bigger the better. However, there are certain communities in India who just cannot afford a wedding, let alone a lavish one. This has probably led to the tradition of couples living in without a ceremonial wedding, simply because they cannot afford it.
132 couples tie the knot
Ramesh Gope and Manonit Kerketta of Jharkhand, who have been living together since the past 14 years are finally getting married and accepted by the society on January 15. The couple belongs from a tribal community and has two sons and a daughter. A Non-governmental organisation, Nimitta, which is based in Ranchi, with the help of Coal India Limited (CIA), Punjab National Bank and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), has been successful in bringing forth the marriage of this couple along with other 131 couples from different districts of Jharkhand namely Ranchi, Khunti and Gumla. These 132 couples will tie the knot in a mass wedding at the IAS Club in Ranchi on January 14, which has given these individuals a new lease of life.
In the tribal community of Jharkhand, men and women can choose their life partner and can move in together without any marital status. In their tradition, this process is called as (dhukua marriage). The woman in the pair is referred to as ‘dhukuni’. As they are not recognized as husband and wife by the society, the woman in the pair and their children do not possess any rights over property. Reportedly, this practice is common among members of Oraon, Munda and Ho tribes of Jharkhand.
Talking to The New Indian Express Ramesh Gope said, “As my wife and I are not from the same caste, we need to throw a feast to the society which will cost around 1.5 lakh, to be socially recognized as a married couple in the society. Since my income is very low, we are not in a position to throw a feast and hence we have got no legal rights”.
“We have started this process of throwing a mass wedding for such couples since 2016. I came to know about the ‘dhukua’ marriage from my visit to Khunti, three years ago. Since 2016 we have helped sixty-four couples get married and acquire marital status in the society,” said Nikita Sinha, secretary of the NGO to The Times of India.
She added that this year, seventy-six Saran couples, thirty-six Hindu couples and twenty Christian couples from Khunti and Gumla district were married off. “The idea is to make the couple officially recognized as husband and wife in the society. The couple will also be provided with a marriage registration document,” she added. Reportedly, the number of couples getting married this year sharply increased from what it was three years ago. Moreover, each couple was allowed to get at least 10 guests, thus fulfilling their need to hold a feast.
The Logical Indian take
Marriages are made in heaven it is said, but in our country sometimes in the name of religion love and marriage actually doesn’t tend to end well. In such scenario encouraging these couples to get married and uniting them is a very commendable effort. These couples now will get new chance to live lawfully as man and wife which is considered very important for any adult in our country. The Logical Indian appreciates the efforts of the Nimitta and others involved in starting and then continuing with their efforts.