Matrimonial Get-together 2013

3 Feb 2013

Voice Vision, conducted a matrimonial get-together for persons across disabilities, at Golden Leaf Banquet Hall on the 3rd of February 2013.

Marriage is a time of romance, hope, excitement, promises and …reality. Finding the right partner is not an easy task for anyone; and the extra layer of emotional and social pressure that the disabled face, could be additionally trying for them.

With a mission to help the disabled realize their dream of marriage, Voice Vision website has a dedicated Matrimonial section for people to register & search their solemate. To take the matrimonial section further, a platform was provided. Prospects from different disabilities- visually impaired, mobility impaired, hearing impaired, speech impaired, limb impaired- belonging to different age groups and across religions were present with their parents and/or other family members to participate in the get-together from 2pm to 6 pm.

An Overview of the Programme
All invitees present were welcomed by the founder director of Voice Vision Miss Sushmeetha B. Bubna, who then introduced the flow of the event and the counselors: . Ms Nidhi Goyal (writer, gender and disability rights activist), Ms. Kruti Shah, Ms. Meena and Ms. Vinita (clinical psychologists from ADAPT) and Ms Upasana Saraf (clinical psychologist, HR Head Bombay Cambridge School).

The day began with an ice breaker conducted by Ms Kruti and Ms Nidhi. The participants were randomly paired, given some time to interact with their partners, and asked to introduce the other. Each individual shared information about themselves, their disability, their educational and professional backgrounds, and their partner expectation.

The next leg of the program was specially designed for prospects and their families to gauge a better idea of a cross disability relationship and to deal with the inhibitions. The families and prospects were seated in different banquets for this session.

In the banquet with the prospects, counselors discussed ideas of a romantic relationship, how to choose a partner, adjustments vs. compromise and understanding relationships with a disabled/ nondisabled/ differently disabled spouse. For a better understanding and interaction, the fourty participants were divided in five groups and asked to enlist the pros and cons of different kinds of partnerships- same disability marriage, cross disability marriage and marriage with a nondisabled. This was a learning for the participants that no relationship is perfect.

While, in the parents banquet, the counselors addressed the general resistance of parents to have a disabled spouse for their offspring. The possibility of finding a partner for their child- which itself is doubtful- and the support parents may or may not have to give to their married kids.

In both groups, counselors brought up the points that considering the person is of the utmost importance. If two persons click, disability is just something to work around. Also, they subtly challenged the gender assigned roles and social prejudices. For example, many participants and parents believed that kids are only the responsibilityof the mother, and a disabled mother is not a good mother. There were moments when counselors had to sensitively and tactfully extract reactions from parents, while there were some moments where the embedded prejudices were so strong that participants had to be gently coaxed into looking at the other side.

Marriage is a partnership which is unique and divine which gives much and demands much. In order to help the prospects and parents understand this bond the counseling sessions in both the rooms were interspersed with an interaction with two cross-disability couples: Mr. Rahul Kelapure & Mrs. Sonali Kelapure and Mr. Kinnar Shah & Mrs. Kavisha Shah. These couples spoke about the story of their relationship and their daily living, joys, and adjustments.
Both the couples laid an emphasis on the fact that when they had met each other, they first considered each other as prospects without worrying too much about their disabilities. Also, they both said that it was helpful that they took some time to make the decision. A couple of meetings, phonecalls, and a little time did the trick. Once they sure about themselves, they were prepared for the disability related questions their families threw at them.

The program was then concluded with the vote of thanks and felicitations by Ms Bubna. After which the floor was open for the prospects and families to interact while enjoying the hospitality (high tea) of Golden Leaf Banquets.

We are grateful to Golden Leaf Banquets for their immense support – the beautiful venue, impeccable arrangements and delicious snacks.
We thank all our counselors from ADAPT & Bombay Cambridge School who devoted their valuable time to the event -without them the event would not have been possible.
We also thank both the couples who gave a paradigm shift to everyones thought.

Special gratitude to Ms. Nidhi Goyal, who played a vital role in conceptualizing & executing the entire event.

We would like to express our gratitude to all of the volunteers including the MBA students from St. Francis Institute for Research & Management College, Mira Road & volunteers from Ascent Networks Pvt. Ltd. for their prompt services.

Last but not the least we would like to thank all the participants – specially those from Madhya Pradesh, Pune, Panvel, Navi Mumbai.

We request all participants to fill up the feedback form and give us your suggestions / views for all our future initiatives and knowledge sessions at
http://www.voicevision.in/content/feedback-form/

To view the Photographs of the Get-together

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Matrimonial Get-together Feburary2013

Read more about the event in media

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Mumbai/A-match-making-event-for...

Location: 
Golden Leaf Banquet, 5th Floor, Link House, Link Road, Opp. Eccha Purti Hanuman Temple, Malad West, Mumbai - 400064
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Next get together

team,

Please let me know do this get together are conducted very 3 months or how is it.

My friend is blind and he is looking forward to get married.

Thanks & Regards,
Harish.S