Amid the lockdown in the Kashmir, 40 couples from financially poor backgrounds were married off at a subdued ceremony at Khan Sahib in Budgam district on Saturday, The Tribune reported.

According to report at the madrassa, where the local cleric read verses of the Quran while solemnising the weddings, all brides, in the age groups of 18 to 40 years, sat in rows accompanied by their relatives. The mass marriage ceremony was held 35 km from Srinagar at a madrassa in Khan Sahib, Budgam, by Aash, an NGO. This is the second mass marriage organised by the NGO since October last year, when they had married off 50 couples, said the report.

“We want to do something for our people. In this initiative people have been helpful to us,” the newspaper quoted Qurat-ul-Ain Masoodi, chairperson of Aash as having said.

To communicate with the couples and get them ready was a task for the NGO as the communication lines remain down in Kashmir since August 5. “It was not easy to arrange the mass marriage. We had to go door to door to contact these families as we had made a promise to them to support them. So, we took a decision and held the ceremony,” the report quoted Masoodi as having  said.

The couples all hailed from various areas of Budgam district and had registered with the NGO earlier.

The NGO does not provide any monetary support to the couples, but Masoodi said they give each bride some clothes and necessary items. They also gave each of them a copy of the Quran.

Despite the modest celebrations, the brides and grooms said they were happy to get married off at a mass wedding. Some of their relatives said they did not have the means to organise the weddings of their children.

“I am happy with the simple wedding. I have six daughters and today my fifth daughter got married. It wasn’t possible for me to arrange elaborate weddings for them,” the report quoted Zeba Bano, mother of a bride as saying.

Another bride’s sister according to report said: “For us it is a good decision.” The mother of another bride said: “We are poor people. We are happy to marry off our daughter in this wedding ceremony.”


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