The diamond trader said he started sponsoring fatherless brides when one of his employees died in 2008, just a few days to the wedding of his two daughters
About 151 young couples were able to get married legally in the western Indian state of Gujarat on Sunday, December 6, thanks to the kindness of a stranger.
Mahesh Savani, an Indian diamond trader, sponsored the mass wedding of young brides and grooms and has been doing so for young women who have lost their fathers for years.
“Only someone who has lost her father can understand how much a girl needs her dad on her wedding day,” said 27-yr-old Vimla Koringa one of the sponsored brides.
The diamond trader said he his act began when one of his employees died in 2008, just a few days to the wedding of his two daughters.
Since then he has paid for the weddings of young women from poor homes who have lost their fathers.
Weddings in India are very expensive and traditionally, the bride's family are expected to pay the groom a huge dowry and foot the bills for the wedding party.
Savani said the wedding gifts for the 151 couples costs more than 50 million rupees (HK$5.8 million).
“I see this as something sacred, so I am not counting the expense,” he said.
He gives each of the brides gold jewellery, clothes, and pots and pans to set up her new home, much like the dowry given in traditional Indian weddings.
The brides in turn bless Savani's efforts as he plays the 'foster father' role.
“Ever since my father died two years ago, my mother has worried about my wedding and how to raise money for the expenses, Savani Papa has eased all her worries.” a 23-year-old Meetal Gondalia said.