VISAKHAPATNAM:This is a wedding with a difference, and one Vizag should be proud of. When Santha Madhu’s (22) parents died in a road accident eight years ago, she thought that life was pretty much over, forget marriage and a possible future for her. But now, thanks to the goodwill of the residents of Sagarnagar and many other Good Samaritans who have stepped up to bear the expenses, Santha will be married off traditionally at the place she grew up in, the Juvenile Home for Girls in Visakhapatnam, Wednesday, at 9.46 am in the presence of public.
All the marriage paraphernalia is being sponsored by donors who have come forward to generously donate for the wedding. Former public prosecutor P Krishna Kumari and her husband Das have decided to perform the kanyadanam, while two members from the legal fraternity will offer mangalasutram for the bride. As the girl had grown up in the area over the last eight years, the residents of Sagarnagar have decided to sponsor some items as well. Financial contributions from the locals will fund the household articles for the newly-weds.
The people of Sagarnagar area are getting ready for the marriage and rituals began Monday with authorities of the Juvenile Home and office staff, along with the locals performing bridal ceremony in the morning in a traditional manner.
“We obviously feel it’s our responsibility to perform Santha’s marriage as she had grown up before us. But above all, she is a good human being and deserves the best,” said KN Bhageerahi, superintendent of the Govt Spl-cum-Children Home and Observation Home for Girls.
She described how they searched for a suitable groom for Santha, rejecting proposals from unemployed, illiterate youth and even aged men in the process. “We finally found a good and decent match for her. The groom is a clerk in a private architectural company and is the brother of our office attendant Lakshmamma. When Lakshmamma’s brother asked her to search for a girl, she proposed Santha and after the formal procedure, the two said okay for the marriage,” said Bhageerahi, adding: “We have also specifically informed the groom’s party that we cannot give any dowry or perform the wedding in a grand manner, and they reacted positively.” Though the authorities of the Home said that the marriage would be a simple one, Good Samaritans joined hands and are making it a complete traditional affair.
“The district judge has extended financial assistance for the marriage. Meanwhile, some members of legal fraternity have offered to buy sarees and other things for wedding ceremony. Residents of Sagarnagar have decided to sponsor the music party (band) and arrange a dais. A catering service has volunteered to supply food to 300 guests on the wedding day. CMR group is giving rings and other things for the groom and one of the private bank managers is buying fruits and sweets,” said Bhageerahi. “The bridal ceremony was performed in the presence of all these people,” she added.
Members of city-based Ken Foundation will be volunteering at the wedding besides hosting the mehandi ceremony. They are also sponsoring sweets for the guests besides organising a photo shoot.
After completing 18 years of age, Santha Madhu was sent to Hyderabad and again sent back to Visakhapatnam and has since been working as a sweeper at the Home.
Speaking to TNIE, an emotional Santha said, “I lost my parents very early in my life. The kind of care and responsibility people have been showing towards me is a gift from God. Such things don’t happen in every orphan’s life. I have got a family.”
Juvenile Welfare Correctional Services and Welfare of Street Children AP, Hyderabad, director K Sarada Devi, district and sessions judge V Jaya Surya and other judicial officials from the city will be attending the wedding.