Eleven differently abled and underprivileged couples have tied the knot at a mass wedding ceremony in Rajasthan’s Udaipur city, following COVID-19 protocols, according to the event’s organisers. The couples pledged to say no to dowry under a campaign promoted by Narayan Seva Sansthan (NSS), an organisation that works for the wellbeing of differently-abled people and the underprivileged. They also took an oath to wear masks and follow all other COVID-19 guidelines, and urged people to do the same.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, only relatives of the couples and NSS members attended the ceremony. NSS’ donors gifted home appliances to the married couples, a statement said. “Disability is just a physical disorder, it’s not an illness,” said Kamlesh who married Pooja at the ceremony.

Kamlesh was affected with Polio at the age of three years and after an operation, he was able to walk with the help of crutches. However, this did not stop him from pursuing his dreams.

He continued his studies and secured a job as a panchayat assistant.

“I have always been emotionally very strong and challenges have made me stronger. I began my own business with a grocery store and later, secured a job as a panchayat assistant. I am glad that I have met a life partner who is so supportive,” said Kamlesh.

Pooja, who lost one of her legs in an accident and had to go undergo a costly surgery, said, “I am very happy to meet my life partner Kamlesh.” “I lost my leg in an accident. I was treated free of cost at the NSS through a surgery that would have cost me and my family a lot. I am happy that I can now lead a good life because of this surgery,” she said.

NSS president Prashant Agarwal, “Our ‘No Dowry Campaign’ is a flagship campaign which has been organised for 18 years. We are very happy to have 2098 couples settled in their lives till date.”

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed. )

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