Wedding Bells Ring on World AIDS Day

By: Alifiya Khan Date:   2010-12-02              Place: Pune

On Wednesday, as a middle-aged couple exchanged marital vows, a motley crowd of curious onlookers gathered around to see the reason behind the modest looking couple receiving so much media attention. What set this marriage apart was the fact that they were a couple living with HIV/AIDS and decided to marry each other on the occasion of World AIDS Day.

Source: Mid-Day

By: Alifiya Khan Date:   2010-12-02              Place: Pune

On Wednesday, as a middle-aged couple exchanged marital vows, a motley crowd of curious onlookers gathered around to see the reason behind the modest looking couple receiving so much media attention. What set this marriage apart was the fact that they were a couple living with HIV/AIDS and decided to marry each other on the occasion of World AIDS Day.

Marriage registrar R M Parekar who solemnised the marriage at the registrar office in Bund Garden said that he was happy to be a part of this occasion. The bridegroom Rupesh (name changed to hide identity) hails from Jejuri, a small city near Pune, and works as a security guard in a company. The bride, Kamala (name changed to protect identity) is a health worker in a tuberculosis prevention project in local municipal corporation. The duo met through a matrimonial meet organised for people living with HIV and AIDS organised by Deep Griha Society, an NGO and a website vivah.aarogya.com that caters to marriages of people with special needs.

While they initially decided to tie the knot on August 1, they later changed their mind and decided to wait till December 1. “We wanted it to happen on a day that symbolizes the changing attitude of people towards HIV and freedom of people living with HIV/AIDS. I am happy to have found her and a family in her son. I’m happier that our union was solemnised on such a special day,” said Rupesh. It is a second marriage for both bride and the groom. Their respective partners passed away a few years ago due to the infection. “We want the couples to lead a life of normalcy and that is why we organise these wedding fairs. Yet despite our persistent efforts, this is only the sixth couple whose marriage happened because of our meet. But we are hoping that we are able to settle down many such families in future,” said Avinash Chakranarayan, co-ordinator of Disha project.



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