Started by a grieving father in the memory of his late son, this matrimonial website helps people who are suffering or have suffered from a chronic disease find the perfect match for themselves.
Five years ago, Vijay Kumar Junja, a Bengaluru-based businessman was diagnosed with mouth cancer. The news shattered his world. But thanks to an oncologist, he was able to recover in some time. Today, he is a successful entrepreneur who owns a restaurant and is not on medication anymore. The surgery, however, left a few scars on his face and that has made it difficult for Vijay to get married.
Until a few days ago, he had given up the hope of finding his perfect match through any matrimonial website or agency.
But thanks to a newly-found matrimonial platform called Divine Relations, he now has hope. The website caters only to those who are suffering or have suffered from a chronic disease and want to get married.
Image for representation only. Source: Pixabay
“I have registered on Divine Relations and am waiting for the right match — someone who would be interested in my heart rather than just my face; someone who has been through a similar experience and hence, would be able to understand me,” Vijay says hopefully.
Divine Relations was founded by Vivek Sharma, a marketing professional who has spent his entire career in the medical field and has seen many patients suffering from chronic diseases. He used to work with companies like Cipla, Pfizer, Novartis, and Sanofi, where he handled segments like respiratory diseases, cardiology, oncology, hematology, thalassemia, organ transplant, and dialysis.
“Having seen the plight of those suffering from chronic diseases, my heart always went out to them. The idea for Divine Relations came to me after my encounters with two brilliant doctors, a renowned oncologist from Pune and nephrologist Dr. Hemal Shah from Bombay. In separate conversations with both of them, a similar point came up: how patients recovering from chronic diseases find it difficult to find a match for marriage. They told me about numerous patients who despite being completely cured, were unable to find brides or grooms for marriage. I was going through a transformative tragic experience at the time myself and decided to do something to help others. That’s how Divine Relations came into being,” says Vivek Sharma.
An IIM Calcutta alumnus, Vivek recently founded an NGO named Mickey Amogh Foundation and it hasn’t been an easy journey for him. He suffered a tragedy when he lost his only son to an undiagnosed medical condition in 2014. The incident changed his life and Vivek’s wife slipped into depression.
He quit his corporate job to be with her. Eventually, the grieving couple realised that helping others in some way would help ease their pain.
“I had started a medical communication and media agency, which I eventually converted into a private limited firm. But something was missing and nothing seemed to fill the void. I thought of starting an NGO in the memory of my son Amogh. I contacted a classmate, Sushil Dugar who had founded a trust in the name of his cousin Mickey. Mickey was 15 when he succumbed to Autism. After discussions, we both agreed to convert Mickey Charitable Trust into Mickey Amogh Foundation. Aside from Divine Relations, the trust takes up different initiatives like organising blood donation camps, conducting healthcare education workshops for women and helping organisations providing education to underprivileged children in Mumbai,” says Vivek.
Divine Relations was officially inaugurated on November 4, Amogh’s birthday. The platform is completely secure. To register, one has to provide one’s identity proof. Once the profile is created, one can browse through the brief profiles of other users. Any user can request to connect with a person and the two are able to connect only after the latter’s approval.
“We have only just started. We wish to spread the word through the network of doctors, medical social workers and the media. Doctors often come across such cases and would certainly recommend Divine Relations to their patients,” says Vivek.
The platform has not seen any matchmaking success stories as of now, but Vivek is optimistic that it will happen soon.