15 couples tie nuptial knots on one stage

blog

By Sashidhar Parajuli,Biratnagar, Apr. 20: A large number of people from the indigenous community gathered at Atithi Sadan in Biratnagar on Thursday. This venue is popular for hosting weddings, engagements and other social events.

Many people gathered in the venue from different settlements of Jahada Rural Municipality. Some were from the bride’s side while others were from the groom’s side.

A large pandal was erected for the wedding at Atithi Sadan. Everyone was immersed in the joyful atmosphere of the wedding, accompanied by the Panche Baja (traditional wedding music). The cultural team of the Satar community played instruments while women engaged in cultural dances. Observing the lively scene at the wedding venue, one could mistake it for the celebration of a family of high economic status.

The stage, visible from the beautiful door prepared there, was equally magnificent. The wedding venue boasted a grand stage and 15 mandaps (pavilions) on the premises. Each mandap hosted a separate wedding ceremony for 15 pairs of young people, each following their respective cultural traditions.

A total of 13 couples from the Santhal community along with one couple each from the Chaudhary and Rajbanshi communities, tied their nuptial knot in the multiple mandaps. This mass wedding was organised by the Maheshwari Mahila Munch (Women’s Forum). 

For financially disadvantaged families, the marriage of their children represents not only a familial obligation but also the responsibility to manage financial burdens alongside family duties. The programme was organised to convey the message that a mass wedding programme could alleviate such financial burdens, said Archana Tapadiya, the coordinator of the mass wedding ceremony.

After Tapadiya's active role and coordination, Jahada Rural Municipality accepted the proposal of the mass wedding positively. Eligible couples were sought with the assistance of ward chairpersons.

With the assistance of ward chairpersons, 15 couples were prepared for the mass weddings. Upon receiving consent from both the male and female sides, they participated in the wedding ceremony.

All those who got married have reached the age of 20. Organisers believe that this will also help in shaping public opinion against the prevalent trend of child marriage among indigenous communities living in the Tarai region.

The married couples did not have to spend any money for the wedding. The Maheshwari Women's Forum covered all the expenses incurred in the marriage. For all the brides, the organisers purchased a gold tilahari (traditional necklace), earrings, nose pin, silver pauju (anklet) and clothing.

Similarly, for every newlywed couple, beds, drawers, chairs, rags, suitcases, and other kitchen items have been provided as gifts. In addition, Poonam Rathi, Chairperson of the Maheshwari Women’s Forum, informed that a fixed deposit account of Rs. 11,000 has been opened in the name of the brides at Century Bank to strengthen the financial security of the newly married women.

“It is not easy for all families to afford the high costs of marriage in today's times. Faced with the constraints of social traditions and trends, poor families often shoulder a significant financial burden. Therefore, we proposed the idea of mass marriage to convey the positive message that cultural activities like these can be undertaken collectively to alleviate financial strain,” Rathi said.

Jitendra Sah, Chairman of Jahada Rural Municipality, expressed deep appreciation for the mass marriage programme. He said, “As the head of the local government, I should have initiated such efforts, but you have made a commendable start by organising it. We have learned from this experience. It is a promising beginning.”

The Forum had invested nearly Rs. 3 million for the mass wedding, which was attended by over 500 people.

How did you feel after reading this news?

More from Author

China’s Focus On New Energy Industry

Mediation Works When Conflict Situation Is Ripe

Pragmatic Budget

Need For Digital Detox

Wrestling in Kalapathar

Himalayan Literature Festival concludes