In India, a wedding is one of the most important occasion for most families. A substantial amount of money is spent on weddings; families (especially bride’s) save for years so that they can meet the expenses incurred at weddings.
Among the economically weaker sections, the bride’s family is not only expected to pay for the wedding, but also provide gifts to the groom.
So when a young woman’s father dies (the main bread earner in most poor families), the situation becomes really grim for the family.
That is why people like Mahesh Savani are considered to be messiah’s by such families in India.
Over the last decade or so, Indian real-estate tycoon Mahesh Savani (based in Surat) has organized weddings for hundreds of fatherless brides, not just paying for the event, but also giving each one of his new “daughters” a substantial dowry (gold, jewelry, furniture, home appliances, etc.). At each wedding, the businessman also performs their ‘kanyadaan’ (traditional ritual of handing over the bride).
I always thought that my dreams of getting married in a way I wanted, would remain only a dream, after my father passed away. But Mahesh Savani made sure my dreams came out true. And its not on ordinay wedding; its lavish by my standards,” a Muslim girl who got married.
It all started when a close relative of Mr. Savani died just a week before his daughter’s wedding, and Mahesh Savani stepped in to take his place, organizing the whole event and performing kanyadaan.
“That’s when I began to think of all the girls without fathers who needed someone to assume this responsibility and decided I would take this up,” says Savani.
All that he asks from the brides family is a death certificate (of the father), to make sure he is not being taken for a ride (after all, he is a businessman). He does not care about the religion and caste of the bride.
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