An unusual buzz was witnessed at the Mango grove on way to Alagarkoil Hills on Sunday as hundreds of differently-abled persons from across the State assembled there to participate in the ‘Swayamwara’ organised by Tamil Nadu Physically Handicapped Associations Federation (TNPHAF) South Zone forum.
Hundreds of prospective brides and grooms, along with parents and relatives, were seen scanning the profiles of other participants to find a perfect match.
R Suresh (32), a technical staff at Anna University Centre, who has locomotive disability, came all the way from Villupuram to find a suitable girl for himself. Suresh said, “I came to know of Swayamwara last year, but could not make it then. This year I got an invitation from the organisers and attended.” Such programmes were a boon to the differently-abled in the State, he added.
S Bhoopathy, State Vice President of TNPHAF, said, “The track record of the Swayamwara programme is improving. This year around 350 registered with us as against 200 last year. Around 50 couples were able to find suitable partners and the record will be much better than last year’s.”
K Nagalakshmi (30), of Sellur in Madurai, and Maharaja (30), of Dindigul, were the first couple whose profiles matched. Both of them had orthopaedic disorders. Maharaja said, “All these years I had not even thought that I will get married. But with such bodies playing active role for the welfare of the differently-abled I too have found a match for myself.”
“It is difficult for people like us to find a job and get married. We have to strive hard to earn a status in the society,” Maharaja added.
However, Maharaja said that he was happy over finding a suitable match for himself after a struggle of three years. Maharaja, who owns a stationery shop at Batlagundu, said that he would be able to take care of his prospective bride through his business.
Meanwhile, S Bhoopathy said, “We have made the necessary arrangements for the stay of the participants and their families. Some participants discussed various issues linked to the marriage with the families of partners they had chosen and entered into alliances.”
So far, around 50 couples have found their matches in the Swayamwara this year. According to organisers, once a perfect match is found and the families approve of alliance, the prospective groom and the bride are invited to a podium. The organisers said that those who had found their matches would be married off at Chennai by Geeta Bhavan Trust. Collector L Subramanian and Corporation Mayor V V Rajan Chellappa were also present.