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Wedding bells ring in hope in their lives

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TRADITIONAL WAY: It was a dream come true for the inmates of Stree Seva Niketana in Mysore on Wednesday. Photo: M.A. Sriram
TRADITIONAL WAY: It was a dream come true for the inmates of Stree Seva Niketana in Mysore on Wednesday. Photo: M.A. Sriram

Staff Correspondent

Men come forward to marry inmates of Stree Seva Niketana

Mysore: It was a day of wedding bells for Gowramma, Deepa and Sangeetha of the Stree Seva Niketana here on Wednesday.

Gowramma, who lost her parents when she was eight, joined the seva niketana in 1991. She is preparing to take the second PU examination. Manjunath, a farmer from Koppa in Chikmagalur taluk, came forward to marry her.

Deepa and Sangeetha, both aged 24, also got marriage offers. M.S. Jayanth, a wireman in Koppa approached the institution to marry Sangeetha, and Sridhar Ganesh Hegde, an LIC agent in Siddapura taluk of Uttara Kannada district, proposed to marry Deepa.

Proposals

People who come to the home with marriage proposals are not supposed to enquire about the religion or caste of the girls.

The registrations were done at the sub-registrar's office, and the weddings were formalised in a traditional manner at Rishi Samskruthi Vidya Kendra.

Sthree Seva Niketana, run by the Department of Women and Child Welfare, has been realising the aspirations of destitute women since its inception in 1958.

The institution has given shelter to orphans, destitute women, widows and also women who are victims of atrocities. In the past eight years, 30 girls of the institution have entered the wedlock.

Orphan children first join the Bal Bhavan and rehabilitation centres of the department before joining the seva niketana once they reach 18. They are provided education, accommodation, food, clothes and medical facilities at the institution.

They are also trained in tailoring, knitting, embroidery, painting, and "kasooti" work so that they stand on their feet even after marriage.

"Those who get married help spread awareness about the institution. Because of this, people come forward with marriage proposals," says Vimala, Deputy Director of the seva niketana.

The department enquires about the men who express their wish to marry women of the seva niketana.

Verification

The proposals were approved after the age, income and behaviour of the man were verified. Medical certificates, including HIV particulars, were collected, and the woman's medical certificates was also given to the man.

The marriages take place at the sub-registrar's office. If the men wish to celebrate marriage as per tradition, they were free to do it. But the expenditure had to be borne by him or his family. There were instances of private companies sponsoring the weddings, she said.

The department purchases National Saving Certificates worth Rs. 5,000 in the name of the bride and the bridegroom, besides giving Rs. 2,000 to the woman after marriage.

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