Diamond Trader in Gujarat Hosts Mass Wedding For 151 Couples

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Diamond Trader in Gujarat Hosts Mass Wedding For 151 Couples

Indian diamond trader Mahesh Savani, top center wearing white, poses for a group photo along with brides before mass wedding hosted by him in Surat. (AP Photo)


Surat:  With the brides dressed in traditional red and gold embroidered saris and the grooms wearing long tunics and turbans, 151 young couples tied the knot at a mass wedding today.

The nuptials were hosted by Mahesh Savani, a Gujarat-based diamond trader who has been paying for the weddings of fatherless women in Surat for several years.

"Only someone who has lost her father can understand how much a girl needs her dad on her wedding day," said Vimla Koringa, 27, as she waited for her wedding ceremony to begin.

Mr Savani said he first stepped in to play the role of the father in 2008, when one of his employees died a few days before the weddings of his two daughters.

Every year since then, Mr Savani has paid for the weddings of young women from poor families who have lost their fathers.

Vimla Koringa waits for transport before a mass wedding hosted by a diamond trader in Surat. (AP Photo)

Mr Savani said that the wedding and gifts for the 151 couples cost more than Rs 5 crore, with around 100,000 guests joining in the three days of festivities that ended today. The sprawling school ground where the mass wedding was held was decorated with flowers and lights.

"I see this as something sacred, so I am not counting the expense," Mr Savani said.

The businessman, who has made his fortune in diamond trading and real estate, said he saw himself as a "foster father" to the young women. He gave each of the brides gold jewellery, clothes, and pots and pans to set up her new home.

"Ever since my father died two years ago, my mother has worried about my wedding and how to raise money for the expenses," said 23-year-old Meetal Gondalia. "Savani Papa has eased all her worries."


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