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`Kalyanamastu' breaks barriers

Special Correspondent

Five couples - four of them Dalits - were betrothed amidst Vedic chants Five couples - four of them Dalits - were betrothed amidst Vedic chants by Tirumala priests



MOMENTOUS OCCASION: A couple exchanging garlands at the betrothal ceremony for the mass - marriages organised by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams in Hyderabad on Saturday. Photo: G. Krishnaswamy

HYDERABAD: There were days when Dalits were prevented from entering temples. It appears to be the other way round now if the efforts of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) are any indication.

For people who could not have dreamt of inviting Brahmins to perform their marriages, the step initiated by the Devasthanams has come as a boon. Amidst Vedic chants, the priests of Tirumala temple performed betrothal ceremony for five couples, four of them from Dalit families, here on Saturday.

The couples had registered for Kalyanamastu, the mass marriage programme to be conducted by the devasthanams across the State in `abhijit lagnam' at 11.54 a.m. on February 22. They were presented new clothes, garlands and prasadam from Tirumala.

The betrothal ceremony was held under the supervision of TTD chairman B. Karunakar Reddy. High Court Judge Justice L.V. Ramana, TTD advisor P.V.R.K. Prasad, MLA G. Kishan Reddy and APCC general secretary D. Nagender and others were present. The TTD proposed to conduct 50,000 marriages on February 22 as part of the programme to conduct one-lakh weddings every year.

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