**Bhubaneswar: ** 23 Patidar youths from Gujarat tied the knot with brides from Odisha in the first inter-state mass marriage function under the aegis of ‘Akhil Bharatiya Kurmi Kshatriya Mahasabha’ (ABKKM) in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.
Earlier, 76 Odia brides married Gujarati youths in Surat in three different functions since 2013.
This is the latest trend followed by both the communities to overcome skewed sex ratio and exorbitant dowry demands. Finding a suitable bride in the Patidar community of Gujarat is a daunting task due to the skewed child sex ratio of 890 girls per 1,000 boys as per 2011 census. In Odisha, it is a Herculean task for the poor parents to marry off their girls in the face of huge dowry demands.
They have devised a way to forge unlikely alliances between both the communities. It’s a trend none of the parties are in mood to break. Moreover, the Gujarati matchmakers go out of their way to make Odia brides comfortable. A Gujarati family acts as guardian parents of the Odia bride whom she can reach out in case of any problem.
On the other hand, the 100-odd girls married in Surat and Ahmedabad are now seen as ‘ambassadors’ in their community.
According to sources, Nikhila Utkal Kurmi Kshatriya Pradesh Sanstha, based in Ganjam, has made video CDs of the lives of Odia girls settled in Surat depicting their experiences and better lives. This is done to prompt more families to come forward and adapt to this new trend.