Dubai: A Dubai groom’s recent wedding in India has been dubbed extraordinarily special and path-breaking.
When Vignesh Krishnaswamy, 28, tied the knot with Ananya Sawant, 21, last week, it marked a heartwarming union of two people with Down Syndrome, a new journey of a couple of determination.
Their wedding saw elaborate Tamil and Maharashtrian ceremonies over three days as per the regional customs of the groom and the bride respectively.
Vignesh, who was raised in Dubai since he was three, works with the front office of a five-star beach resort in Palm Jumeirah. A product of Al Noor Training Centre for Persons with Determination in Dubai, he had previously worked with two multinational companies specialised in IT and logistics. Ananya is an assistant teacher at a special school run by her mother in Pune, Maharashtra.
Vignesh’s father TK Viswanathan spoke to Gulf News over the phone from Chennai in Tamil Nadu where the couple is currently attending post-wedding parties.
How the match was made
Explaining how their fairytale wedding took place, he said both families had been working on it for almost a year. “We were looking for a companion for Vignesh in some common forums for special children. My daughter Janani, who is pursuing medicine in the UK, was then contacted by Ananya’s mother.”
Following that, Ananya’s family, including her parents Tejaswita and Girish and sister Ashni, took the matter forward. Subsequently, Vignesh and Ananya got in touch over the phone and WhatsApp. The couple got along so well that Ananya even did a certificate course in front office management when she got to know that Vignesh had a similar qualification. “She has lived in the US and Europe prior to relocating to India some 10 years ago and she has got a number of certificates in different courses. We will now bring her to the UAE and help her find a job of her choice,” said Viswanathan, who works as a CFO in a private company.
To help Ananya adapt to her future stay in Dubai, the families even arranged her visit to the UAE in March. “She was thrilled. She particularly loved the water theme parks,” said Vignesh’s mother Veena.
Grateful to inclusive Dubai
In a brief conversation with Gulf News, Ananya said she was looking forward to coming to Dubai and she was “very happy with her husband”.
Vignesh, in turn, said his wife “is so beautiful and is having a lot of fun”.
Viswanathan said his family had been grateful for the facilities and support offered to Persons of Determination in Dubai. “It is only because Vignesh grew up in such an inclusive environment in Dubai that we have been able to raise him almost like a normal person. We were able to provide him with various therapies and supportive education. He has a PoD card which offers him special facilities. We are hoping to get the same for Ananya.”
Beacon of hope
Ranjini Ramnath, director of Al Noor, who attended the wedding, said it was the most special wedding she had attended.
“Vignesh’s parents may well be pioneers to have broken age-old traditional barriers. They are a beacon of hope to parents of people of determination-daring other parents to dream of a life of fulfillment for their children. They have shown the way to other people of determination to find inclusion in the world of matrimony.”
“The ceremony was a joyous affair, replete with all the elements of a typical big Indian wedding. The families of the bride and groom have been admirable in the manner in which they have planned and executed the wedding. It was done most tastefully and sensitively, according the bride and groom of determination with the same care and respect that they would to other children.”
She said everyone at Al Noor felt proud.
“Marriage is a ‘coming of age’ milestone in a person’s life. In Vignesh’s case, this milestone is a reflection of his abilities and efforts. This has been made possible thanks also to Al Noor’s holistic training geared towards academic achievement, social integration and economic independence, combined with the parents’ complete support.”