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Marriage fair for elderly held in Delhi

People from different states, such as Rajasthan, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Uttarakhand, attended the event to give themselves a second chance in life, the organisers said.
Last Updated 04 March 2024, 01:53 IST

New Delhi: A one-of-its kind event was held on Sunday in Delhi, where a ceremony was organised to bring together individuals aged 50 and above, to provide a second chance to companionship.

The Senior Citizen Jeevan Saathi Parichay Sammelan was organised by Anubandh Foundation Ahmedabad at Maharaja Agrasen Bhavan here.

Natubhai Patel, the NGO president, said, "The Sammelan was organised with an aim to address the growing issue of loneliness among senior citizens, providing them with an opportunity to find love, companionship, and embrace new beginnings."

Mamta Sharma, 68, from Raj Nagar, Ghaziabad, who participated in the sammelan, shared her experience.

"Education matters a lot. I am a widow, and I lost my husband in 2006 when my daughter was just nine years old. Now, she is a 25-year-old working woman," she said.

She said her daughter is the one who told her about this event.

"She believes there's no problem in meeting people, and life can change for the better at any time. So, she brought me here for a second chance," Sharma said.

Sharma slammed the society's perception of widows, saying some families treat them as a burden.

"My long time friend who also lost her husband stays with her son's family, not out of choice but because they can't afford a maid. I am aware of her situation," she added.

She urged such lonely women to come forward and do things for themselves.

According to Patel, 70 men and 30 women attended the Sammelan, with participants aged between 50 and 90.

People from different states, such as Rajasthan, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Uttarakhand, attended the event to give themselves a second chance in life, he said.

He said there was a woman who had brought her father, a man who brought his father, and a daughter-in-law who brought her father-in-law for the event.

Another attendee, 68-year-old Krishna Nand Sharma, a widower and a doctor from Bundi, Rajasthan, had journeyed from his hometown to Delhi with his daughter and sister.

'Everyone is busy in life.. children are busy and happy in their married lives and jobs. I was working and staying alone after losing my wife, who passed away in 2014 due to cancer,' he said.

The elderly said he felt that he deserved a second chance in life.

'If you have the chance, do it. Life is precious, and we should not waste it,' he said.

Durga Thakkar, 68, who met Dilip Kharadi at the wedding fair, defied societal norms by marrying a 74-year-old automobile engineer during Navratri in 2022.

'Life is really tough, and when you're a woman and society makes it more challenging, especially when you're a widow. Life is harsh and you have to face it all alone,' she said.

Thakkar said it was challenging for her as a woman with a married child to embark on a new journey.

'Despite initial opposition from my children and family, I am happy that I took a stand and got married again,' she said.

The organisers have hosted such events in several states, including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Haryana, Bihar, Goa, and the North East.

They have conducted around 78 events and facilitated matchmaking for approximately 202 couples.

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(Published 04 March 2024, 01:53 IST)

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