MYSURU: With the number of farmers’ suicides set to cross the 50 mark in the chief minister’s home district, the district administration has decided to hold a mass marriage programme after it was found that a major reason for farmers taking loans was for the wedding of their children.
The mass marriage, titled ‘Shubharambha’, will be organised at Nanjangud on November 8 and more than a 100 couples have registered to take part.
Sources said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who will participate in the ceremony, is likely to extend the scheme to rest of the state. He may also announce funds to encourage mass marriages to be held in other districts.
What Triggered Shubharambha
To understand the reasons behind the increaing number of farmers’ suicides, the district administration held interactions with families of deceased farmers at the hobli level. Many of them said they had to borrow money to organise weddings of their children and were unable to repay it due to crop loss.
To stop farmers from further falling into debt traps, Deputy Commissioner C Shikha decided to organise a free mass marriage programme. Shikha said they were moved when they came to know that many farmers had borrowed for their children’s weddings and were unable to repay. She added that they are happy that one hundred couples will enter wedlock and the initiative has helped families save lakhs of rupees.
As many as 40 couples from Scheduled Castes, 20 from Scheduled Tribes, 15 from OBCs, four from Others, one Muslim couple and 17 inter-caste couples have registered for the mass marriage to be held at Nanjangud. The authorities rejected seven out of 107 applications.
The district administration has decided to spend `18,000 to provide a saree, a shirt and dhothi and thali to each couple and has also involved public institutions, entrepreneurs and individuals as sponsors. The Nanjangud temple will sponsor food for about 2,500 people including 20 relatives from each wedding party at the Dasoha Bhavan.