Gujarat: Cashless mass marriage in Bayad this Sunday

Ahmedabad, Feb 17: This Sunday, nine couples will tie the nuptials in a mass marriage at Bayad, a town in Aravalli district, without a penny changing hands in cash. In a state where people are queuing up at ‘Chandla counters’ to register their cash gifts to the couple is common practice, there will also be a swipe machine in place to accept money.Hasmukh Saxena, convener of Shri Veermaya Vankar Samaj Sudharak Samiti which has organized the mass marriage, said that all payments for purchasing wedding gifts for the couples, payments to caterers, mandap owners etc have been made either by cheque or RTGS payments The priest will also be paid by cheque.Biggest challenge was to ensure that `dapu’, a traditional cash gift offered to the daughter-in-law by groom’s parents, is also paid in a cashless manner.”It took a lot of convincing for families to give dapu which is set between Rs 600 and Rs 1,500 in different villages to the daughter-in-law in cheque. But finally when families were told of the larger initiative aimed at taking the country forward in cashless direction, they agreed,” said Saxena.

Saxena said that that while the initiative is in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘s call for a cashless India, transparency is a bigger reason.”Our top priority is corruptionfree India. Going cashless means complete transparency in use of money.”Nathabhai Cauhan, father of Ramesh (28) who is set to marry Meena in the mass marriage, said that while initially he was against the concept of cashless marriage thinking it would be very difficult but once he learnt how to swipe ATM card, it was not all that difficult.”We have decided to gift Meena Rs 707 `dapu’ in cheque. It feels good to be part of change,”