Pune, January 29, 2019: The pleasant wintry morning of Saturday 26th January 2019 brought with it all the hustle-bustle of wedding arrangements. Punyadham Ashram right from early morning was abuzz with sounds of shehnai and everyone dressed in their festive best attires for the ceremony of Mass Marriage. This is the 4th consecutive year when this noble ceremony has been organized. This unique institution is trying to bring about a change in the mindset of the populace by discouraging the custom of dowry and child marriage.
20 young couples were happily married amidst a lot of fervour and excitement. After registrations, the couples got ready for the ‘Haldi’ ceremony when the brides looked radiant in bright green sarees. This was followed with the Republic Day Celebrations when everyone attended the flag hoisting. The youngest bride Mahima Tupey hoisted the national Tricolour in presence of Maa Krishna Kashyap, Chairperson, Sadananda Shetty, President, library students, senior citizens and all other guests. Patriotic songs were sung and speeches made to bring in the spirit of patriotism alive!
Preparations for the subsequent ceremonies ensued where the couples wore their wedding attire. The grooms in the elegant Sherwanis and the brides looked beautiful in their bright red and gold sarees. The pretty brides waited for their grooms to arrive among a lot of fanfare of the baraat. The grooms came in decorated chariots with a musical band-bajaa accompanied with all the ‘baraatis’ dancing with happiness and excitement. Finally after the grooms joined their respective brides in the beautifully decorated mandap, the learned pandits were ready to start the wedding ceremonies. The varmala, saat-pheras & kanyadaan were performed in presence of all esteemed guests. After the rituals were over, the couples sought the blessings of Maa and the distinguished guests when they received their complete Trousseau of new clothes, blankets, and all necessary household items, before they all proceeded for prasadam. There were more than 5000 guests present- families of the couples and Punyadham guests.
It was then time for the proverbial bidaai when after the bride bids a tearful farewell to her parents and she accompanies the groom with his family to her new home to start their wedded life. This was such an emotional moment for all present & organizing these marriages makes it worthwhile, energising & satisfying. “We wish the new couples a Happy and Blessed Married Life together”, was Maa’s message to them.
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