Kartik Sorathiya, a 25-year-old auto garage owner inBapunagar, had little idea about eastern state of Odisha until a month ago when his parents enrolled his name in a matrimonial meet with prospective brides from the state. "I met Poornima Pradhan three days ago after she liked my profile. We talked and realized we were a match," says Sorathiya who had seen many Patel girls in Gujarat earlier in vain before Poornima chose him. The couple was busy clicking pictures discussing Oriya 'dalma' over Gujarati 'dal-bhat'.
It was a unique confluence of east and west India in Ahmedabad on Tuesday as 23 Patidar youths from Gujarat tied the knot with brides from Odisha. This was the first such inter-state mass marriage function under the aegis of 'Akhil Bharatiya Kurmi Kshatriya Mahasabha' (ABKKM). Earlier, 76 girls from Odisha married Patel youths in the state in three different functions held in diamond city Surat since 2013.
Organizers say it is a win-win match for Patidar youths in Gujarat for whom finding a suitable bride in the community is a daunting task due to the skewed child sex ratio of 883 girls per 1,000 boys as per Census 2001 which has only shown only marginal improvement at 890 recorded in Census 2011.
"Many Patidar youths looking for brides were getting duped by middlemen. On the other hand, many Oriya Kurmi girls remained unmarried as poor parents can ill-afford huge dowry demands. We decided to bridge the communities for common good. What started with 7 matches in 2013 reached to 45 weddings last year," says Ramji Patel, a native of Surat and vice-president of ABKKM who initiated the inter-state weddings.
And we have a whole thread against IC/IR weddings. LOL