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79 Hindu couples take seven vows to enter holy matrimony

By Zoya Anwer
January 07, 2019

Making sure that her Ghoonghat (veil) remained in place, a bride entered the tent where the rest of the women were seated.

As the fairy lights entwined around the Mandap — a small enclosure for the couples to do their Saat Phere (seven circumambulations) — came to life, it was time for the couples participating in the mass Hindu wedding ceremony to take their places.

Held at the Railway Ground on II Chundrigar Road, the annual event organised by the Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC) saw 79 couples tie the knot this time round.

“A year after forming the PHC in 2005, we decided to hold mass weddings,” MNA Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, the council’s patron-in-chief, told The News. “We have held 11 ceremonies since then, with 1,100 young couples tying the knot.”

Dr Vankwani said that it is a cultural activity for the community that makes up nine million of the population. “In these tough times, it’s not easy for parents to marry off their offspring.”

He thanked God for giving him “the privilege to become a guardian for all these couples because it’s an immense responsibility entrusted to me by the people of my community”. He added that besides Karachi, there are couples hailing from Umerkot, Thatta and Sanghar.

“We also provide them with the things that would help them start their lives as partners, and all the expenses for their weddings, including the clothes, as well as fares if they come from outside Karachi.”

The MNA said they try to make sure that the arrangements of the event are all-inclusive so the couples don’t feel unimportant, adding that he would try to increase the number of couples the next time.

Meena, who had come to wed off the son of her brother-in-law all the way from Hingoro, which is located between Khipro and Mirpurkhas, said that many brides get ready after reaching the venue. “It’s a long journey, which is why it’s not possible for women to dress up, so we do our makeup here.”

PHC Joint Secretary Paman Lal Rathi said the council had also arranged a mass wedding for some Muslim and Hindu couples in Tando Adam because the council believed in working for humanity.