Christian couples tie knot in a mass marriage
The Kiran Kumar Reddy Government is striving for the welfare of minorities, Minister for Minorities Welfare Mohd. Ahmedullah said after blessing 35 Christian couples who entered into wedlock in a free mass marriage programme at Arogya Matha Church here on Saturday.
The Government had borne Rs. 20.70 lakh to perform 138 Christian marriages since 2007, he said in the programme organised by the Minorities Welfare Department and Christian Minorities Finance Corporation. Thirty five couples were married on Saturday at an expenditure of Rs. 8.75 lakh, the Minister said. Four acres of land was allotted for a Christian cemetery and Rs. 31.20 lakh was sanctioned for its development. A sum of Rs. 17 lakh was spent to construct Churches in Kadapa district and Rs. 10 lakh was granted to OLF Christian Hospital at Porumamilla for procuring equipment, Mr. Ahmedullah said.
He promised allotment of house sites to the newly-married Christian couples. The Government sanctioned Rs. 20 lakh to the Haj Committee for facilitating Muslims to go on Haj tour. The Government was also striving for the welfare of other minorities such as Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains, he said.
District Collector K. Sasidhar said the Government conceived the programme to financially assist poor families in the presence of Ministers and the official machinery.
The programme was being propagated by tahsildars, MPDOs and the media to persuade more persons to benefit from it. Each couple was being given an assistance of Rs. 10,950, YSR Congress MLA from Rajampet A. Amarnath Reddy said.
The programme commenced with a prayer by Fr. V. Vijaya Rao of Arogya Matha Church and rendering of devotional songs. Rev. Benhur Babu of the CSI Church conducted the marriage proceedings and administered an oath to the brides and bridegrooms.
Later the Minister, Collector and MLA gave away ‘mangalasutrams’ and rings to the newly-wedded couples, who exchanged garlands.District Revenue Officer P.H. Hemasagar, Additional Joint Collector K. Gopinath, Executive Director of Minorities Finance Corporation K. Srinivasa Rao, regional officer of the corporation Abid Ali Sheik, Joint Director of Agriculture G. Jonathan, Fr. Thomas Raju and Kabeer Puraskar awardee K. Rajarathnam Isaac participated.