3,612 couples including actress, MLA marry

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Amravati, Feb 2 (PTI) South Indian actress Navneet Kaurand local MLA Ravi Rana exchanged wedding vows at a masswedding ceremony in which 3611 other couples also tied thenuptial knot in this town in Vidarbha region today.

The ceremony had a touch of Bollywood glamour as actorVivek Oberoi donated utensils to 1100 couples.

The community marriage function, billed as one of thelargest, saw Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithiviraj Chavan,Industries Minister Narayan Rane, Amravati guardian ministerRamkrishna Vikhe Patil, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev and Sahara IndiaPariwar chief Subroto Roy blessing the newly-weds.

The colourful ceremony, held at the Science Core groundunder a huge shamiana, was witnessed by thousands of peoplefrom Amravati and adjoining areas. Most of the couples werefrom lower middle class and adjoining districts and villages.

Dressed in a maroon ghagra-choli with gold and diamondjewellery, Navneet Kaur, Amravati''s new ''bahu'', was seenaccepting greetings from people. Ravi sported a cream colouredJodhpuri suit with golden embroidery and turban. They walkedon the ramp. Baba Ramdev blessed the couple as Pandit DevduttaSharma chanted vedic mantras to complete the wedding ceremony.

The ''baraat'' procession of grooms led by Rana, who wassitting in a horse-drawn buggy, started from Dussehra Maidanand reached the Science Core ground.

Altogether 2443 Hindu couples, 739 Buddhists, 150Muslims, 15 Christians, 13 visually impaired and pardhis andtribals got married in the ceremony.

Chavan lauded the idea of community marriage and saidsuch social ventures needs to be encouraged to saveunnecessary expenditure.

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