November 3, 2011

INDIA: Now, senior citizens look for love and live-ins

AHMEDABAD, Gujarat /The Times of India / November 3, 2011

By Radha Sharma - Times News Network

Live-in relationships, popular among youngsters who want to check compatibility with their partners before marriage, has found favour with the elderly as well.

The first-ever public function to help 50-plus men and women from across India find live-in companions will be held on November 20 at Mehndi Nawaz Jung Hall in Ahmedabad. 

Organizer Natubhai Patel, who runs Vina Mulya Amulya Sewa, an organization created to help arrange marriages of lonely senior citizensin the country, says the concept of live-in relationships has interested a lot of elderly, who are shy of getting married again fearing legal wrangles and succession disputes. Also, many seniors are wary of being stuck with an incompatible partner in old age.

"Of the 3,000-odd applications, nearly 1,000 prefer finding a live-in partner who will keep them company without inviting social and legal complications associated with marriage. Most women still prefer marriage but many say they are fine with live-in companions if they provide them financial security," Patel said.

Asha Pandya, a 51-year divorcee in Vejalpur, is keen to find a partner with whom she can live to the fullest, watching movies, eating out and travelling. "Once bitten, twice shy, I do not want to get into a marriage without knowing if my relationship with the man will work or not. However, I need financial security and want the partner to put some money in my name first," said Pandya, who confesses to feeling lonely after her only daughter got married.

Alpesh Parikh, 61, a retired bank officer who draws a pension of Rs 16,000 is also looking for a live-in partner. "I live with my son and daughter-in-law and need a companion. I am ready to move out if I find the right partner. I would like to get married only if I am comfortable," said Parikh.

Patel said all men and women above 50 years of age including divorcees, widows and single are eligible to join the meet in Ahmedabad.

Copyright © 2011 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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