Mumbai: Wedding Meet-Up Held For People Who Lost Spouses During COVID-19 Pandemic

Mumbai: Wedding Meet-Up Held For People Who Lost Spouses During COVID-19 Pandemic

Some were divorcees, others had not married before, but many among them had lost their spouses during the Covid-19 epidemic and were hoping to find a new partner to share their life with.

Manoj RamakrishnanUpdated: Tuesday, May 14, 2024, 10:38 PM IST
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Mumbai: Wedding Meet-Up Held For People Who Lost Spouses During COVID-19 Pandemic |

Mumbai: On a recent weekend evening, around 75 men and women gathered at the Islamic Gymkhana on Marine Drive. Their mission: to find a life companion. Some were divorcees, others had not married before, but many among them had lost their spouses during the Covid-19 epidemic and were hoping to find a new partner to share their life with.

The organisers of the event, Kokan International, has a marriage bureau that helps members of the Konkani Muslim community find spouses. The event on Saturday, however, was the first programme for those who lost partners in the pandemic.

"After the death of their partners, they are lonely because their children do not stay with them. In many cases, the children want their parents to marry again," said Kauser Kazi, a marriage counselor who is a member of the women's group that runs the marriage bureau.

One of the aims of the programme was to break the social taboo that stops women in the community from remarrying. There is no restriction on remarriage in Islam as marriage is a contract, but women are reluctant to remarry, said Vardah Roghay, a former teacher and a member of the group.

"If a spouse dies, the contract ends and you are free to enter into another marital contract. For men there are options, but there is inhibition among women because they are worried about being judged by society," said Roghay.

"We wanted to break that taboo and I think we got the message across," said Rayeka Bandukwala, another member of the committee. At the weekend's programme, the participants ranged from a 35 Year-old woman doctor to a 73 Year-old former businessman who lived alone in a large apartment. "His children are well settled and live separately. He wanted a companion," said Shaheen Kazi, a member of the women's group.

Kazi added that disintegration of multi-generation families means that more and more senior members of the community live in one-person households. "Children should take care of aging parents, but in the present scenario, parents do not want to impose themselves on their children. This means that people who are not living with their children are suddenly left alone when the spouse passes away," said Kazi.

The event, 'Kokan International Wedding Meet Up' was meant to help people over forty years of age find life partners, but there were many who were in their thirties. The composition of the participants also revealed a growing gap between the educational achievements of men and women. Most women, including the doctor who was finding it difficult to find a marital partner with similar educational qualifications, were graduates or postgraduates, while many of the men did not have a university degree.

"While it is encouraging to find women racing ahead in higher education, this also has its social repercussions because the women may not find men who have similar educational qualifications," said Roghay.

Karima Fasahtay, another member of the group that organised the event, said that the marriage prospectors wanted financial stability, mental compatibility, and educational parity with prospective partners. "The women, especially, did not want to compromise on education," said Fasahtay.

The event attracted participants from Qatar, South Africa, and Kuwait, apart from Indian cities. Participants complimented the organisers. "It was a pleasant catch-up and a ray of hope for bachelors, divorcees, widowers, etc. wanting to get married. The idea of meeting three to four profiles as suggested by the hosts added up the chances of better results," said Fahim Chougle, a 43-year-old Chartered Accountant who attended the meet.

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