The Government of Karnataka has decided to promote mass marriage under the Shaadi Bhagya or Bidaai scheme. This scheme was launched in October, 2013 by the Congress Government with Siddaramaiah at the helm. Under the scheme financial assistance is provided to the women belonging to the financially backward minority.
The scheme has the following features:
- Financial aid of Indian rupee 50,000 to the couple.
- Karnataka Wakf board (Muslim endowment controlled by Karnataka State Government) allocated 10 crores for the scheme and not from Tax Payer money.
- Brides 18 and above, with an annual income of less than Rs 1.5 Lakh are eligible for this scheme.
- Divorcees and widows intending to marry again passing above criteria can also avail this plan
According to Minority affairs minister Tanveer Sait, circulars with the order to implement the scheme have already been issued to the concerned authorities across the state. He said, “With mass marriages, it will be easier for the government to keep track of brides and grooms. Couples won’t have to run around seeking benefits.”
Verification will also become easier as the district’s deputy commissioner will be involved, which will help towards preventing child marriages, and also cases of cheating.
Mass marriage will help clear the backlog of nearly 31,000 applications over the past three years. While many applications are disposed for want of fulfilling the criteria, the department still remains burdened with applications and mass marriages will work towards reducing this burden
The concept of mass marriage under the Shaadi Bhagya scheme will also help in stopping misuse of funds, as many Congress workers and supporters of political leaders come seeking benefits of the scheme individually.
Minority Affairs Department is on the lookout for NGOs and other individuals who will be able to conduct mass marriages under the scheme.