Legislator among 1,034 couples in Maharashtra's biggest mass marriage

Top political leaders, film stars and celebrities witnessed Maharashtra’s first multi-religious mass marriage ceremony in which 1,034 couples tied the knot in Thane district's Virar town Sunday evening.

Among the couples who exchanged wedding vows was local legislator, Kshitij Thakur, who garlanded his childhood sweetheart Prachi Galwankar. The mass marriage was held on a sprawling 200-acre open plot in Chandansar with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, state Congress President Manikrao Thakre, local MP Baliram Jadhav, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, legislators Vasant Davkhare, Ramdas Kadam, Gopal Shetty, Sanjeev Naik and others in attendance.

Film personalities led by diamond magnate Bharat Shah, Govinda, Milind Gunaji, Johnny Lever, Aditya Panscholi and others also turned up from Mumbai to bless the couples at the event organised by Viva Thakur Charitable Trust, headed by a former legislator Hitendra Thakur.

Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation Mayor Rajiv Patil and Deputy Mayor Sagir Dange welcomed the dignitaries and over 100,000 people who got married in 16 specially erected marquees for the mammoth function, in which couples from different religions got married.

In a noble gesture, the VTCT bore the entire cost of the grand wedding ceremonies and also gifted small gold ‘mangal sutras’ to the brides. It will also take care of the medical check-ups of the women for their first two pregnancies.

“For the couples hailing from poor economic strata, the VTCT will also bear the entire educational expenses of their first two children,”said mayor Patil to IANS.

Besides, all the participating couples were gifted a set of clothes and utensils to start their new married lives, and shall be given medical assistance of Rs.2000 each for both pregnancies in future, he said.

The entire Virar township, around 60 kms north of Mumbai, was decorated for the event, while all the roads and the highway leading there were spruced up to receive the dignitaries.

More than 500 policemen and 7,500 volunteers co-ordinated the security and other arrangements for the entire function.

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