55-yr-old widow holds 'Swayamwar' to find new partner

Bhanumati Rawal from Anand district selected Rajendra Rawal, who is in mid-fifties, from Mansa in Gandhinagar district, as her partner out of the 36 persons who participated at this unique 'Swayamwar'.

"Being old should not stop you from living your life. At this age I decided not to hide from the society but face it," Bhanumati, said after the Swayamwar. "I am happy to get married again. It is better than living in an old age home," she said, adding people of her age should think of starting new life instead of opting for old age homes.
Rawal said he was at such a stage where one needed a partner to spend the rest of the life.

"My only objective to participate in this Swayamwar was to find a partner who can give me happiness till the end of my life," he said. The Swayamvar for Bhanumati was organised by NGO Vina Mulya Amulya Seva headed by Natubhai Patel.

Patel said that 36 candidates participated in the Swayamwar. "Ten persons were selected after the first round. Further elimination left the final three, out of which Bhanumati selected Rajendra, who incidentally also belongs to the same caste as her," he said.

"This will be third marriage of Bhanumati. She had got divorce from first marriage and her second husband died. She was deserted by her children and relatives and was forced to live in an old age home. While this is second marriage for Rajendra," Patel said.

Bhanumati could not gel with the rest of the inmates as all were past 65 years, he said, adding, that is when she approached the NGO and it was decided to hold a Swayamwar for her. Rajendra said that his wife had died of illness in 1994, when his kids were very young.

"But now when the kids are grown up and independent, I thought that I should also find a partner," he added.

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