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Gujarat: 18,000 widows invited by businessman to bless his son’s wedding


Ahmedabad: Where inviting widows to auspicious functions is still considered a taboo, there still exist some men like Jitendra Patel, a Mehsana-based businessman, who trashes these parochial beliefs with contempt.

On Wednesday, Patel, better known as Jitubhai, invited as many as 18,000 widows from five districts of north Gujarat, to bless his younger son Ravi and his bride. Widows from Banaskantha, Mehsana, Sabarkantha, Patan and Aravalli districts were special guests at the marriage venue at Derol, about 12km from Himmatnagar.

“It was my heartfelt desire that the couple should be blessed by widows, who are mostly neglected by the society. Their presence is considered a bad omen at auspicious functions but I wanted to prove that all these beliefs are nothing but superstitions,” Jitubhai told.

What’s more interesting? Not only invitation, every widow was also presented a blanket and a sapling with a promise that they would carefully nurture the plant in their backyard.

Around 500 widows, who came from poor families, were also given a milking cow each so that they become self-sufficientfinancially.

“I can hope of earning a decent livelihood now that I have a cow. I never expected getting so much importance after becoming a widow,” said 55-year-old Hansa Thakore of Vijapur town in Mehsana district.

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