In 2014, Mumbai registered 11,667 divorce cases; up from 5,245 in 2010. Nationally, too the rate of divorce has increased to 13 per 1,000 in 2014 from 1 in 1,000 a decade ago. Besides, with the stress on economic development, and with over half of India's population under 30 years, experts claim that divorce rates will only rise.
A Maharashtrian wedding in progress
With this in mind, Rushikesh Kadam organised Pavitravivah 2015, a two-day wedding festival that aims to promote pre-marital counseling. “It's important for young couples to understand each other and their limitations before tying the knot,” he says of the festival that will be held at NESCO grounds in Goregaon over the weekend.
Kadam adds, “Lasting marriages are important, not just for happiness, but for national growth. If couples are not happy, they will not be able to give their 100% at work, which will affect the country's progress.” The festival has also organised an inter-caste community marriage meet-up by Shree Swami Samarth Vadhu Var Suchak Kendra on the final day.
They also plan to launch a new helpline that will promote eco-friendly weddings, with ideas on minimisng wastage of resources during lavish feasts. This will include helping to donate and distribute leftover food from a wedding to the needy people. "We have tied with the dabbawalahs on this," he adds.
The organiser wants to look at the larger picture. "We are a country with the world's largest youth population. But we don't have sufficient infrastructure to support so many weddings. The wedding industry functions as a parallel economy with most sales done on cash. With this festival, we hope to give new services and professionals a platform and help create an organised industry."
The festival is open to all, and will have more than 45 exhibitors showcasing various wedding related products and services — from wedding planners to information on venues for banquet and marriage halls, designer apparel, catering, bachelor party ideas, car rental services, bridal gifting and more as well as destination weddings to lesser known places in Maharashtra. “Traditionally, Maharashtrian weddings are known to be low-key, but since the markets opened up in the 1990s, there's been an increase in expenditures. This festival tells you how to arrange a grand wedding at low cost,” feels Kadam.
On: December 26 and 27, 10 am onwards
At: NESCO Exhibition Centre, off Western Express Highway, Goregaon (E).
Log on to: www.pavitravivah.com