HIV couple ties the knot with life

City-based NGO helped Sushma and Sachin have a traditional Maharashtrian wedding at a hall in Warje-Malwadi

Sushma and Sachin might not have gone through the typical kande-pohe phase for their marriage, but its truly a match made in heaven. The HIV-positive couple found each other through a city-based NGO and took the plunge into matrimony on Thursday.

The wedding ceremony according to Vedic rites was organised in the presence of hundreds of HIV-positive children at the hall in Suryoday Ashram, Bhagirathi Complex, near Warje-Malwadi.

NMP+, a Mumbai-based NGO took care of the match-making aspect and Suryoday Aids Foundation, which is based in Pune, helped them tie the knot. Both of them had submitted their matrimonial requirements to NMP+.

Punit Balan, president of Shree Sadguru Datta Dharmik Evam Parmarthik Trust in Indore, did the kanyadaan. Over 150 guests – including Sachins parents and friends – participated in the ceremony. Even the haldi and sakharpuda ceremonies were performed by the couple according to Maharashtrian tradition.

Sachin, 29, a resident of Junnar, works as a supervisor for a construction company. He says an indiscretion on his part led to him contracting HIV. “I contracted HIV after visiting a place with my friends. I came to know about the infection some two years back. I could have married a normal girl. But I did not want to ruin anybodys life. I told this reality to m family and they were very supportive. I had told them Ill never marry,” Sachin said.  

He added, “But then I saw Sushma at NMP+ and fell in love with her. The NGO had shown me pictures of three other girls. But she was the one for me. When I came to know that she was an orphan, my resolve to marry her became stronger. I saw this marriage as a great opportunity to repair my mistake.”

New bride Sushma told Pune Mirror, “We wanted to set an example to people like us. So we decided to get married. I had lost all hope for life, until I met Sachin.” Sushma, who was diagnosed as HIV+ in 2009, is a victim of sexual exploitation. She has been working with Suryoday Aids Foundation as an attendant for the past two years.

“Marriage has given me a new life. I had left my parents house at the age of 16 after a petty quarrel. But my life was a downward spiral after that. I was sexually exploited and one of the exploiters passed on the infection to me. My family members refused to take me back. I somehow managed to contact Suryoday foundation.

I opted to marry because I don’t want to lead a lonely life and most importantly, Sachin accepted me as I am,” she said. Tejaswini Thite, project in-charge, Suryoday Aids Foundation, said, “The HIV infection isolates people from the society. Marriage will hopefully bring this couple into the mainstream. If proper medical precautions are taken, they could have a child thats HIV negative.”

–Vijay Chavan, PuneMirror

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