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Marriage route for NRIs via Gujarat

Radha SHARMA

Monday 20 October 2003, by SHARMA*Radha

Article paru dans le Times of India, ?dition en ligne du 20 octobre 2003.

AHMEDABAD: What would a Chicago-based NRI girl do to marry a Toronto-based NRI boy? Come to Ahmedabad and register with a local marriage bureau, complete with her biodata, photo and horoscope to match.

Surprisingly, the route to many a bride or groom’s heart is via Ahmedabad for many second generation NRIs. And, with Diwali heralding the season for NRIs to troop down, many have begun enrolling with match-making bodies, asking them to scout for prospective partner in their adopted land.

Take Bindi Shah, a computer science graduate, who took the matrimonial route from Chicago to Toronto via Ahmedabad. If Chicago-based Shah married Vishal Patel of Toronto , it was city-based Parinay Marriage Bureau that did the trick.

"Both of them had registered with us and we arranged their meeting in the US . It was convenient for both the families to meet and find out about each other. They were both happy and informed us about their marriage," said Kalpana Shah of Parinay.

A California doctor Kala Mehta, now in Ahmedabad for Diwali, has registered her son with a local marriage bureau. "My preference is that they should arrange meeting with a girl based in the US . Not only will it be more convenient, it will be easier for the couple to identify with each other and adjust," she says.

She asserts this is a new trend emerging amongst second generation NRIs who would rather marry someone born and brought up abroad. Since match-making services for the expatriates are almost non-existent abroad, they fall back on the local marriage bureau. "We have arranged 15 such marriages abroad where the girl and boy based in US met through us," says Shah.

Ami Shah of Parichay marriage bureau agrees that this trend is rising. "Parents of girls born and brought up in a foreign land are increasingly falling back on this service to cut down any chance of deception. Increasing cases of girls getting deceived have set alarm bells ringing and they now want to check the background of the prospective grooms. It is easier when both are in the same country," says Shah.

Those in the business of match-making also report a growing reluctance amongst local parents to marry their girls to boys holding an H1-B visa. "Post 9-11, things are no longer rosy for prospective grooms holding an H1-B visa."

"With increasing reports of such people losing their jobs, parents are reluctant to consider a marriage proposal with such boys despite the craze to send their daughters abroad," says Arjun Desai of Sakaar marriage bureau, who confided that even his daughter refused considering marriage with a boy with H1B visa on similar grounds. "Two years ago, finding a match for boys holding an H1-B visa was difficult. There have been cases where the couple was engaged and then the boy lost his job. In such cases, the onus is more on the boy to assure the girls’ parents about his job security," says Kalpana Shah.

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