INDIA. Mumbai: A marriage party traversed a distance of nearly 7 km by sailing on makeshift rafts made of thermocol, in swollen Painganga river at Hadgaon taluka of Nanded district in Maharashtra to attend the pre-wedding ceremony in time on Thursday.
The wedding of Shahaji Madhav Rakade, a resident of Karodi village was fixed with Gayatri Balaji Gondade, residing at village Sangam Chincholi in Umarkhed taluka before a month.
All preparations were made and a customary pre-wedding ceremony (Haldi ceremony) was to be held on Thursday. However, as the day of the wedding came near, the district began receiving heavy rains, posing a big question of reaching the marriage venue since most of the roads were submerged in floodwaters.
The Sangam Chincholi village is located at the confluence of Painganga and another tributary, Kayadhu river. However, despite rising floodwaters, Shahaji’s family and their relatives took the risk of crossing the river using the rafts made of Thermocol to reach the venue at Sangam Chincholi village. Somehow the marriage party, oscillating on the rafts, reached the village. And the ceremony was performed with jubilation.
Surprisingly those who accompanied the groom, returned to their village using the same mode of transport, while the groom Shahaji and his parents stay put at the Sangam Chincholi village, to avoid the risk since the marriage was to be performed next day.
After the rains receded to some extent, others reached the marriage venue by road transport and attended the marriage, which was performed with full rituals on Friday.
Shahaji’s family comprise his parents, a brother, and two sisters. He has studied up to 8th standard. Since the family does not have farmland, it survives by doing menial work on different sites.
Any fragile material cannot withstand the harsh force of floodwaters. But those who ventured into the floodwaters, not only reached the venue but returned to their village after attending the Haldi ceremony by the same mode of transport is what surprised many. Most of those who watched the marriage party sailing through the floodwaters were terrified since the water was moving at high speed.
Bharat Hokarne, a local journalist, said that despite all precautions, many villages are cut off from the main thoroughfare during torrential rains since road links become almost non-existent. In the last one week, the road communication in nearly 8 talukas of Nanded was paralyzed. Such incidents are not uncommon since there are many such remote villages in the district, he added.
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