In India, it is expected that the bride’s family organize and especially pay for the wedding, so when a young woman’s father (the main bread earner) dies, she can almost certainly forget about having a wedding, especially if she comes from a poor family. Most often than not, widowed mothers simply don’t have the means to marry their daughters. That’s where Indian real-estate tycoon Mahesh Savani comes in.
Ever since 2008, Mr. Savani has organized weddings for over 700 fatherless brides, not only paying for the event itself, but also giving each one of his new “daughters” a substantial dowry (gold, jewelry, furniture, home appliances, etc.) worth around 400,000 rupees ($5,900). At each wedding, the successful businessman also steps up to play the role of their father and perform their ‘kanyadaan’ – the traditional ritual of giving away the bride. From that moment on, the girls become his daughters.