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Mass marriage ceremony for underprivileged couples conducted in Srinagar
 
Srinagar, May 35: In a mass marriage ceremony, at least 51 couples from underprivileged backgrounds from different areas of Kashmir tied a nuptial knot at the marriage hall in Baba Demb Srinagar on Thursday.
The event was organised by the NGO “We The Helping Hand,” spearheaded by young activist Umer Wani.
“We provide all the assistance to these couples who belong to underprivileged sections of society,” Wani told Greater Kashmir. Wani said that they have already performed the marriage of 850 girls.
“We provide each bride with a marriage kit, which includes 15 suits, a shawl, slippers, sandals, bags, clutches, a towel set, hosiery, a make-up kit, and more. The groom also receives a small kit with essential items,” he said.
He further said that the NGO charges only Rs 100 for registration, with all other expenses covered by donations.

“The public response motivates us to continue this work. We receive so much support from people who believe in what we do,” Wani said.

He said the importance of simplifying marriage ceremonies is to alleviate the financial burden on families.

“We have arranged at least 800 marriages so far and have a target to arrange 200 more marriages this year,” Wani said.

He stressed the need for more modest and accessible wedding practices in Kashmir, noting that societal customs and the trend of lavish weddings have left many women in the region unmarried. “Poor people are suffering due to this show-off. Nikah should be simple,” he said. The couples participating in the mass wedding came from various districts across Kashmir.

The focus of the ceremony was on the essence of the union rather than extravagant displays. “We have helped many families who don’t have a stable financial condition. Our NGO’s ongoing effort is to support underprivileged communities in the region,” Wani said.

The mass wedding function not only provided a platform for these couples to start their new lives together but also highlighted the need for simpler wedding practices.

“Our female folk in Kashmir are becoming overaged due to poverty. They cannot afford the customs,” Wani remarked.

As per the earlier report of India’s Ministry of Statistics, J&K has the highest proportion of unmarried young people in the country.

Interestingly, the data shows a rise in unmarried youth across genders in Jammu and Kashmir. From 2011 to 2019, the percentage of young people who never married jumped from 25.3% to 29.1%.
 
 
 
 
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