This Kerala construction firm has sponsored 291 marriages!

December 19th, 2010 - 5:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Palakkad (Kerala), Dec 19 (IANS)Construction major Sobha Group, which conducts community marriages as part of its corporate social responsibility programme, has sponsored 291 marriages since 2003 in Kerala’s Alathur town. Head of Sobha Group’s social empowerment department V.A. Gangadharan said 19 marriages were solemnised Saturday and 21 on Sunday, taking the total number to 291.

“P.N.C. Menon, the chairman of the company, has adopted the Vadakkenchery and Kizhakkenchery gram panchayaths in his hometown Alathur and programmes meant for the upliftment of villagers take place through the Sree Kurumba Trust,” said Gangadharan.

Menon, 62, who hails from Palakkad is now an Omani citizen but has his business empire in the Middle East besides India.

“We have done an exclusive survey in these two (Vadakkenchery and Kizhakkenchery) villages and out of the 15,000 families surveyed, 2,500 have been identified as economically backward. Any girl who is listed in these 2,500 families is eligible for marriage sponsorship,” Gangadharan added.

Leading politicians attended the marriage ceremony held Saturday and Sunday.

“The groom is selected by the girl’s parents and a documentary evidence from the local panchayat is required to be submitted by the groom. All the basic requirements to start a new family life are provided to the couple apart from four sovereigns of gold

“Since this is a community marriage, there are no religious functions and as soon as the function is over, the marriage is registered. Those wanting a religious function are free to do so after the function is over,” said Gangadharan.

Menon also runs a state of the art school modelled on the lines of a upmarket public school for 476 children - free of cost.

The group also conducts special coaching classes besides providing scholarships to 500 students, all hailing from the two villages.

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