At a time when families usually plan lavish weddings and grand honeymoons for their children, Amrut Desai of Ajimana (a village located in the Patan district of Gujarat) has chosen to fight stereotypes and help others.
In a rare gesture, he married off seven girls from the Valmiki (Dalit) community during his own daughter’s wedding on April 26, 2018.
During the ceremony attended by over 3000 people, eight girls sat, dressed in bright wedding dresses and adorned in gold jewellery, next to the grooms, while a Hindu priest solemnised the wedding by chanting Vedic mantras.
Furthermore, not only did Desai take up the entire expense of the wedding but also gifted the eight couples essential household items that they would require to begin their wedded lives.
Speaking to The Times of India, Desai said that it was an attempt on his part to eradicate the social evil of caste divide. He also wanted to address the indifference that is meted out to the Dalit community every day.
“After my daughter’s marriage was finalised, I saw a good opportunity to initiate social change. After getting the nod from my daughter and her in-laws, we discussed the idea with the villagers. They not only accepted it but also agreed to actively participate in the ceremony,” he added.
If one man can work to change the unjust beliefs entrenched in our society, imagine what all of us can do!
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)