CHITRAL: Twenty-seven couples tied the knot at a joint mass wedding ceremony in Madaglasht, a scenic valley around 100 kilometres from here.
The ceremony was organised by the Aga Khan Council in lower Chitral valley and sponsored by the Aga Khan Social Welfare Board (AKSWB). It was presided over by Amir Wali, the president of the Namdar Local Council in Garam Chashma.
During the ceremony, twenty-seven young couples got married by paying Rs5,500 fee per couple, while individually they would have to spend more than Rs100,000 per single marriage. On the occasion, Aga Khan Local Council Madaglasht President Sher Azim said the council made arrangements for the joint ceremony to save money and time of people.
Usually, in Chitral valley people celebrate a marriage for three days and also have to feed guests, which not only wastes money but also time. The guests at the ceremony were served a one-dish meal.
Sher Azim said that if these couples celebrated their marriages individually, it would have taken three months. “Pakistan is facing financial crises and we should avoid lavish spending and utilise our resources for development activities,” he stressed.
During the ceremony, gifts were also presented to the brides and bridegrooms by President of the Aga Khan Local Council Garam Chashma, Amir Wali, Assistant District Officer Female Education and honorary member of AKSWB Shakila Anjum, AKSWB Garam Chishma chairperson Mrs Mukhtar and others.
The Aga Khan Council Madaglasht has been organising mass wedding ceremonies since 2007 and more than 100 couples were married in seven such ceremonies so far. Due to chilly weather with the hilltops in the valley still covered by snow, the guests used blankets at night to stay warm.
A happy bridegroom Zareen Hussain told The News that he was glad that he got married at the mass ceremony by spending only Rs5,500, otherwise. “I was not in a position to arrange my marriage and to feed a large number of guests.” Taskeen, a bride, said she was very happy because her parents were poor and could not bear the expenditures of her marriage and feed the guests for three days.