Mass marriage initiative by Aash brings smile on faces of Kashmir’s poor brides

‘I feel contended in organizing over 50 odd marriages of downtrodden in one go’

Mass marriage initiative by Aash brings smile on faces of Kashmir’s poor brides

Srinagar: In a world where people can’t stop thinking about themselves, Qurat-ul-Ain Masoodi, a young woman has pledged to live for others.
She has started a mass marriage initiative through Aash, a voluntary group, aimed to help those orphan and economically challenged people for whom marriage has become more of a burden rather than a religious and social obligation, as they cannot meet the unrealistic standards that the society has set for marriage nowadays.
“I went for a visit to Budgam for some awareness program related to my NGO where I came to know about two orphan girls who needed help for their marriage,” Masoodi told in an interview.
She further after lot of struggle, she conceived the idea of Aash, which means “hope.”
The journey of Aash began in 2018 with its first mass wedding season in a poverty stricken village of Ring Zabal, Khan Sahib Badgam where many girls got married. “They provided these girls with wedding dresses, jewelry and all the other items,” said the Sarpanch of that village, requesting not to be quoted by name.
After its first successful season Aash began yet another endeavor in 2019, this time arranging mass wedding in Srinagar. “Unlike the previous season this one proved to be bit more difficult owing to the unrest in the valley”, she said. “We had to do a door to door collection of brides and grooms as there was communication gag in the valley.”
When asked about fund raiser scheme she said that Aash is completely a people driven organization. “We get money (charity) from local people and some Kashmiri businessmen,” she told.
With about 100 marriages to its name from its two previous successful seasons Aash is now well on its way for a third season in 2020 expecting to increase the number of weddings per season from fifty to more hopefully—(KNO)