Odisha: Love triumphs over leprosy as elderly couple ties the knot

The Health department, in collaboration with the leprosy shelter in Bamapada, organised their wedding at the Jagannath temple on the shelter home’s premises.
Das Marandi and Padmavati Das at their wedding | Express
Das Marandi and Padmavati Das at their wedding | Express

BALASORE: In a heartwarming celebration of love, an elderly man and woman, both above 60, found happiness in marriage at a leprosy care shelter home here on Friday. Das Marandi, 63, from a tribal family, who sought treatment for leprosy three years ago, and Padmavati Das, 65,  another inmate of the shelter for a decade, exchanged vows to spend the rest of their lives together.

The Health Department, in collaboration with the leprosy shelter in Bamapada, organised their wedding at the Jagannath temple on the shelter home’s premises. Padmavati’s life took a tragic turn when she was diagnosed with leprosy. Despite receiving treatment and being cured of the disease, her family comprising her husband and two children, refused to accept her, fearing a relapse. Abandoned, she returned to the shelter home.

After the duo spent time together at the shelter home, Das, a bachelor, proposed marriage to Padmavati three months back. Initially hesitant, she eventually accepted the proposal after encouragement from the shelter home’s staff.

Their marriage was conducted following Hindu rituals in the presence of the chief district medical officer of Balasore, Dulalsen Jagdev, additional chief district medical Officer (ADMO) Dr Mrutyunjay Mishra, and the medical officer responsible for leprosy patients at the shelter home, Dr Sumitra Dey.

ADMO Mishra expressed his delight at this unique union, where both inmates vowed to spend the rest of their lives together. “Such cases are rare and I would expect both to lead a life filled with happiness,” he added.

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