Ahmedabad/Gandhinagar — PM Narendra Modi may be the most famous ‘bachelor’ from Gujarat, but the state is home to 629,000 unheralded men above 30 and 40 years who are unmarried — according to Census 2011. And majority of them are not single by choice.
The number is a manifestation of the skewed sex ratio in Gujarat, which has 919 women per 1,000 men and only 886 girls per 1,000 boys in the 0-6 age group.
At the grassroots level, this imbalance keeps even the most eligible bachelors engaged in the fruitless mission to find brides. Take Haresh Patel, for instance. He is highly qualified and his name is laden with degrees: MSc, MEd, MPhil and PhD. The son of a landed man, Haresh earns well taking science and maths tuitions for HSC students. In short, he is the perfect bachelor; and may remain so.
“There is no marriage bureau where I have not registered, no mass marriage sammelan that I have not attended,” says Haresh. “But the bride is still elusive. My agony is shared by at least 60-odd men in the village where there are 70-odd girls per 100 boys.” The maths teacher’s marital woes have made him crunch sex ratio numbers now!
Census data reveals that the number of unmarried men above 30 and 40 is three times higher than the 2.6 lakh figure of women in this age group who have never married. These figures discount the number of unmarried youth in their 20s who are struggling to find wives, reported The Times of India.
“Finding a bride has become a Herculean task. There are 40 bachelor boys on the wrong side of 30s in my village,” says Bipin Patel (29) of Gadhan village in Prantij, Sabarkantha. Bipin’s qualifications — MA, MEd, and MPhil — have thus far not helped him impress anyone in the tiny circle of available brides.
Bipin runs an electronics shop and earns Rs 25,000 per month. Earlier, families would find brides through agents from tribal areas but a number of cheating cases have made many wary. There have been instances of girls running away with jewellery and cash within days of marriage.
In Chandrala village in Gandhinagar, Natwar Patel has done the impossible: secure a bride for his 32-year-old son Gaurav, just two weeks ago. “I had no problem in getting my three daughters married, but arranging a match for my son sapped me,” says Natwarbhai. He is now being hounded by families of 60-odd ageing bachelors in the village which want him to locate bahus.