‘Happily unmarried’ is motto of online campaign

Happily Unmarried, an online project by feminist group Majlis Legal Centre, tells the story of six women who have decided to stay away from marriage.

Majlis asked women to share their stories on social media earlier this year, and featured six stories from across India. Lawyers working for the group found many women stuck in unhappy marriages.

The project was initiated by a 16-year-old volunteer at Majlis. “Initially, the response was tepid and with only a couple of women willing to speak. Eventually, more people started contacting us,” says Audrey Dmello, programme director at Majlis.

The campaign encouraged women to make an informed decision about marriage.

Metrolife found singles and divorcees in Bengaluru bonding quietly. The city often has singles meetings, advertised on sites such as meetup.com, and often, the objective is  to pair up. But some private groups are meant for those determined to stay single.

Metrolife got through to a singles-and-happy club in Bengaluru, but they requested anonymity for this story, and said membership was closed.

“We formed this group in 2016. Our members are mostly 30 and above. We are a closed group now,” says the founder of the group, who works as a the group co-ordinator.

About 50 members hang out, watch movies and debate the joys and agonies of being single. “We all have taken a pledge to stay unmarried. Breaking this will lead members out of the group,” he says.

Many in Bengaluru say they choose to be single because it makes them happy. Hamsa, 30, currently pursuing her master’s in psychology, says she has learnt to ignore social pressures to get married.

Sharmila, lecturer at a leading college in Bengaluru, got out of a bad marriage and describes herself as happy now. “I was married off to a boy from my community when I was 22, against my wishes. We broke up in less than two months. I am 30 now. I have two adopted children and three dogs. I am happily unmarried,” says Sharmila.

Singles meetup

Singles with children might want to check out an upcoming event. It is titled ‘A Fun Meetup For Single Parents’ and is hosted by Upturn Learning Solutions and Atta Galatta. 8 to 11 am, Atta Galatta, Koramangala.

Campaign objective

Majlis Law’s post says: ‘Happily Unmarried by Majlis is a project to remove the stigma attached to being an unmarried woman in society. What better way to show the world that it’s possible for women to be happily unmarried than by actually asking them... we will be featuring several single women in India so that they can tell you themselves that: They have ‘settled down.’ They aren’t bored all the time. And they are single, not alone!’

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‘Happily unmarried’ is motto of online campaign

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