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United Sikh Mission funds mass marriages in Punjab



United Sikh Mission funds mass marriages in Punjab
NRI, Rashpal Singh, Fontana, California sponsor 3 girl's marriage ceremony

Pind Bias Pind, Jalandhar
Dec. 29, 2007

NRI, Rashpal Singh, Fontana, California, resident had a dream to help poor parents who had a difficulty to marry their daughters in rural area. He decided to start from his own village with his own money.

On Nov. 04, 2007, three girl's marriage ceremony, solemnised in a traditional way, was held in Pind Bias Pind, Jalandhar, Punjab. Rashpal's family paid for all the wedding arrangements and marriage gifts like untencils, beddings, furniture, jewellery, clothes, and other household goods. The newly wed couples were blessed by the NRI couple and local village people

Along with curious vicissitudes of a modernizing India, the growing middle class with its opportunities for upward mobility also propagated inevitable inflationary monetary expectations to an already existing union of marriage and money. This comradeship between money and marriage may be considered as one of the most promiscuous and prevalent linkages pertaining to the past and present of many cultures. The exchange and amount of "money" for a dowry depended on the relative status of being a rich or poor woman

The steady rise of the gruesome scenario of dowry deaths in India brought with it a sense of hopelessness in light of the lack of legal provisions and avenues made available to families who lost their daughters in the expansive and intricate dowry wedding web. More importantly there needs to be a cultural rethinking on the status of women which can occur only through education. The problem is compounded by the fact that 63 percent of the female population in India is illiterate. It is basically the old school of thought: "that a girl is to be married and studying is a waste of money and resources, and there is no need for girls to study beyond a certain level."

For Rashpal, it is time to help for village poor parents who cannot sleep at night when their young daughters at home and ready for marriage.

To extend financial assistance to solemnise mass marriages of girls from poor families in villages, Rashpal is approaching to friends, relatives and other NRIs to come forward for this project. He estimate that $1000 will be enough money for one girl to sponsor under solemnise mass marriages ceremony.