Madikeri: The weddings of Manjula and Ranjitha, flood victims from Kodagu who have taken shelter at relief camps, will finally happen, as if to prove will is a bigger force than natural disaster. This has brought in a new hope in the lives of the two women who had resigned to their fate as their marriages were put off.
While Manjula’s wedding took place this morning at Sri Omkareshwar Temple in Madikeri, Ranjitha’s wedding with Ranjith of Kannur in Kerala is on Sept.12 at Omkareshwar Temple. Kodagu District Minister S.R. Mahesh has sanctioned Rs.50,000 each for Manjula and bride-to-be Ranjitha.
It was a special occasion for Manjula, who was housed at a relief camp in Madikeri, today as she walked into the Omkareshwar Temple. Accompanied by relatives and dressed in full bridal ware, she was the centre of attraction. She wedded Rajish of Koothuparamba in Kerala.
Hundreds of relatives had come from both the bride’s sides and from the side of the bridegroom. Also all the flood victims who had taken shelter at the relief camp where Manjula was housed attended the wedding.
Manjula’s marriage was arranged by Madikeri Lions Club and RSS-run Seva Bharathi Trust, Madikeri. This apart, many voluntary organisations, including Madikeri Rotary Club, have donated money for the marriage. The lunch was arranged at Gejje Sangappa Convention Hall. A wide variety of dishes were cooked for a sumptuous meal.
The families of Manjula and Ranjitha had lost everything due to floods at Makkandur, Meghathalu and Yemmethaalu villages. The entire villages were wiped out and among the survivors were Sumithra-Sanjeev couple at Ratemane Paisari at Makkandur and the family of Baby and her children. While Manjula is Baby’s daughter, Ranjitha is Sumithra and Sanjeev’s daughter.
Both the families had fixed the dates for the wedding and had purchased sarees and gold jewellery. For Manjula’s family, her marriage was a much anticipated event as she is the only girl among her siblings. However, the gold and other items purchased for the marriage with loans were all buried under the mud. In the search operations later, the families were able to recover gold and sarees, but not cash that was kept in the house as it was washed away.
It may be recalled here that Star of Mysore, in a report ‘Rains destroy not only houses, but marriages too in Kodagu’ published on Aug. 22, had highlighted the plights of Manjula and Ranjitha. Expressing happiness over their weddings, both Ranjitha and Manjula thanked the media for highlighting their stories. They also said that Minister S.R. Mahesh had come forward to sanction Rs.50,000 to each of us in this time of crisis. “We were cursing our fate as lakhs of rupees were spent in the run up to our weddings by our family. Now, hope has been rekindled and we thank each and everyone who have helped us,” they said.