Here come the brides - all 261 of them

A mass wedding ceremony on Sunday in the Indian city of Surat, in Gujarat state, saw 261 couples exchanging vows. The brides were orphans and underprivileged women.

The ceremony, which also comprised six Muslim and three Christian couples, was organised by businessman Mahesh Savani. He has been sponsoring mass weddings for orphaned girls since 2010.

In an interview with news site The Weekend Leader, he said one of his relatives died before the wedding of his two daughters, and Mr Savani paid for their ceremonies.

He realised there were "many such daughters who will need a father like him - girls who don't have parents or cannot afford the expense of a wedding".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 25, 2018, with the headline 'Here come the brides - all 261 of them'. Print Edition | Subscribe