Thiruvananthapuram: Strictly speaking, playing cupid is not among the prescribed functions of a panchayat (village ruling council). But what is governance without considering the ground realities of people who are being governed?
One panchayat in Kerala’s Kottayam district has therefore set out to solve one of the pressing issues of its youth – finding life partners.
The problem of remaining single is mainly to do with men but women are also finding the initiative useful.
Platform for singles
People’s representatives of the Thidanad panchayat in Kottayam district were aware that there was an issue of a rising number of singles in the locality, particularly among men. They decided to have a sample survey in a single ward, and found there were nearly 40 singles struggling to find partners.
That was when the panchayat decided to plunge into the match-making initiative, by launching a ‘marriage diary’, a web platform on which youth who are looking for life partners can register.
The feedback has been tremendous – more than 1,600 registrations within the first few days, and climbing fast. Thidanad panchayat has a population of roughly 21,000, comprising about 6,500 families. Most of the people have an agrarian background with only a few hundred working in government or private companies.
Swelling single males
In Kerala’s changed social scenario, young men have been finding it difficult to find brides as girls have gone on to higher education in large numbers and landed jobs unlike many men who have stayed back with their families looking after their family assets.
Young women have taken up service sector jobs like nursing and gone on to pick up well-paid jobs abroad while many of their male counterparts who have stayed back in their native villages are not seen as attractive match for the well-employed women.
Calls from abroad
Thidanad panchayat president Viji George told Gulf News that the ‘marriage diary’ concept has been an instant hit, with people calling from all over Kerala, other parts of India and even from abroad for marriage alliances.
“We have got calls from Tamil Nadu and even from Canada within days of launching the service. There are those who are inquiring about second marriages, too.” George said.
Though the service was initially meant to solve the problem of singles in Thidanad, it has been attracting registrations from everywhere. The panchayat’s matrimonial site also stands out from the rest in the fact that registration is free. Those who desire to register can contact the panchayat and send photograph and other details to a social media group number that the panchayat provides.