In a first in the state, Triplicane in Chennai city will witness a mass vow renewal ceremony of 108 couples between the ages of 60-80 years, courtesy Amma. As part of a slew of schemes by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa ahead of her 68th birthday, couples can register to be part of the ceremony at the Parthasarathy temple grounds in the city.
These vow renewal rituals are age old customs in Tamil Nadu - Shashtiapthapurthi for 60-year-olds, Bhimaradhashanti for 70-year-olds and Sadabhisekham for 80-year-olds - where elderly couples renew their wedding vows on the husband reaching his 60th, 70th or 80th birthday. But as common as it is, it does not usually take place at a large scale. All expenses will be borne by the 116th ward head in the district and 50 couples have signed up so far. Earlier, mass marriages of 68 couples were conducted at Udumalaipettai ahead of Jayalalithaa's 68th birthday.
“We have launched this because many from the poorer sections of society cannot afford the ceremony for their parents as much as they may want to conduct it,” 116th ward head Thenappan said. “The couples will get a silk saree, shirt, dhoti, pooja items for the ceremony and other household materials like pillows, bedsheets and buckets – things that senior citizens will really need,” he added. And if Amma is free herself, the venue is likely to be shifted to the YMCA grounds in Chennai.