Wedding after 22 years brings cheer to this Rajasthan village

After a long wait of 22 years, a baraat or wedding procession finally left a village in Rajasthan last week. While Pawan, the groom, could not afford a horse for the wedding procession, his face was lit up. Villagers’ joy knew no bounds as they welcomed a new bride after 1996.

History was being made. The village, on the contrary, paints a grim picture. There is no power, road connectivity or water in Rajghat village in Dholpur. This, despite a district headquarters close by.

All the marriage proposals from the men of this village are turned down, and most of them are forced to live as bachelors.

“As there are no basic facilities here, no marriages take place here. Villagers are seeing a marriage after 22 years,” said the groom’s relatives.

Reeling under extreme poverty, the village of 300 people has 40 kaccha houses. In the name of development, there is only one primary school and a handpump with saline water.

Of the 125 women who live in this village, only two can write their name correctly. These women have not seen a TV or fridge in their entire lives.

When 23-year-old Pawan Kumar brought his bride from Madhya Pradesh to the nondescript Rajghat village in Rajasthan’s Dholpur district earlier this week, the poor villagers had much to rejoice. The wedding bells had tolled in the village after 22 long years because no parent was willing to marry their daughter off to anyone in the village.

For over two decades, the pathetic state of Rajghat, situated 5 km away from Dholpur town, ruled out the possibility of its eligible bachelors getting any marriage proposals. The last marriage took place in the village in 1996.

Situated on the banks of Chambal river, the small and dusty village – with a population of only 350 – has no roads, electricity supply, water pipelines or basic medical facilities. The lone government primary school has only a few students. When the sun sets, the village is covered in total darkness. Till recently, the villagers living in the vicinity of the river had no access to clean drinking water.