For women, soulmates hard to come by

For women, soulmates hard to come by
Senior citizens in search of a companion in their twilight years have many ways to get together, ranging from local forums to websites.

 ​At a match-making event organised by Karnataka Souharda Vedike in Malleswaram recently, there were only four women against nearly 70 men. Madhusudan of the Vedike, who has been organising the event for the past three years, said: “Men are free to make such beginnings, but societal inhibitions limit women’s chances.’’

Natubhai Patel, who has been organising events for elders’ (re)marriage under Anubandh Foundation, said the ratio of men to women at such events indicates a crisis.  “I have profiles of 7,000 elderly men but only 800 women,’’ he said, referring to restrictions at home on women getting remarried.

‘No time for elders’

Patel said only children of such elderly women can provide a solution. “We are encouraging children to bring their fathers and mothers to this platform. Youngsters say that they don’t have time for elders, they can at least help their parents chose a companion,” he said.

At Malleswaram, Prabhakar Rao, a retired KSRTC engineer said his wife died eight years ago. “I thought of remarriage because only a woman can offer support and care. My daughter is a good person. But I cannot burden her with this responsibility. I cared for my wife. I slept on the floor at hospitals when she was admitted there. But she didn’t survive. So I am here,” he said.

While Rao said he was ready to marry a good person regardless of caste and creed, N K Nandish Aradhya, at 73, said he preferred a Lingayat.  Aradhya said he gave everything he had to his son. “Now I am left with a house and he wants that too. My daughter-in-law doesn’t cook for me. I thought of coming here after realising Ineed love and care from an honest person.”

A 31-year-old woman  who did not want to be named, said it was hard for a woman to get a suitable match after losing her husband. “My husband died three years ago. I was working for a women’s helpline and the stories of women in need of help gave me courage to think of remarriage,” she said.  The experience as a widow has also helped her crack the gender bias. “I understood that I will be called a widow while a man who loses his wife remains a man in society. Besides, a woman who is single needs to be on guard all the time. But these are not the reasons for my decision to come here. I need emotional support to go on,” she said.
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