It is the dream of every parent to see their adult child "settle down" with a suitable life partner through matrimony, who will be a friend and companion for life. Can parents of adults with special needs too dare to have such dreams? Though society mostly questions the why and how of such a dream, a group of mothers came together and chose to ask why not?!
‘Mitra for Life’ caught up with these four amazing mothers, Anu Vishwa, Chitra Subramanian, Meera Balaji and Vidula Bhat, who have this dream for their adult children with special needs. They are now striving to get this conversation started in the community and inspire other parents to shift their thinking from why to why not!
As part of the weekly parent forum at ‘Mitra for Life’, the four ladies introduced ‘Inclusive Matrimony’(IM), an online network and platform. 'Inclusive Matrimony' was conceived to connect like-minded parents and families of young adults with special needs, who were looking to engage their adult children in friendship, companionship, and the possibility of marriage.
‘Inclusive Matrimony’ started as a small WhatsApp group of 40 participants and today they have a Facebook page with over 500 friends and participants from all over India, and from countries like the UK, US, Australia, Germany. The young adults here range from being on the spectrum to having learning disabilities, slow learners and others. They are quite independent in terms of their day to day living and need no supervision. Many are also employed and financially independent.
One of the mothers shared about how her 33-year-old son with autism initiated and expressed interest in marriage, and that got her involved full-on in this platform, trying to fulfil her son’s wish. She is positive about finding him a partner very soon.
The young adults in the ‘Inclusive Matrimony’ network are in the age group of 23-33 and connect virtually from all over India, for monthly meetings online, socialising with the group and sharing their thoughts. The interactions are moderated by giving various topics to engage different mindsets. They enjoy these sessions and are encouraged to communicate with each other with comfort and ease.
Parents and individuals who have walked this difficult path with the experience of facilitating a union of families and couples share their stories on the IM Platform. One such guest was a parent who boldly went ahead and got his son who is on the spectrum, married, and is now a proud grandpa. Another couple shared their experience of how they ventured into matrimony for their lovely daughter, also on the spectrum. Such stories are indeed heart-warming and inspiring.
‘Inclusive Matrimony’ assures complete privacy and encourages more parents to join the network. They hope to gain more recognition and results in the coming days. More power to the IM team to continue this journey.
You can join or connect with 'Inclusive Matrimony' on Facebook, fb messenger or email email@example.com