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For the large hearted

india Updated: Mar 07, 2010 18:31 IST
Sneha Mahale
Sneha Mahale
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

In the future, it is estimated that one in every ten Indians will be on the heavier side. Yet, there are few facilities or services that deal with this ever-growing segment. In such a scenario,overweightshaadi.com comes as an exception. The matrimonial matchmaking website caters exclusively to this audience and has no qualms in admitting it.

“We can’t escape the fact that Indian society continues to hold prejudices towards people they consider plump. We have had several cases of men and women who have been rejected just because they happened to be on the heavier side,” says Megha Singhal, co-founder. She also adds though Indians tend to be on the heavier side, a bias against it prevails when it comes to weddings.

Incidentally, the reason Megha and her sister Aditi Gupta, started the website, was to encourage people to look beyond these set societal norms. Their cousin, who was overweight, had been rejected by several suitors. It was at her wedding, two years ago, to a boy who had looked beyond her weight that the sisters decided to do something to help change the attitude.

Overweightshaadi.com caters exclusively to what they refer to as the ‘large hearted’. Anyone from the slightly plump to those on the heavier side and even the obese can log in and create a profile. Singhal says, “We are not trying to hurt anyone’s sentiments. It is for people who have created profiles on our website; weight is not a criterion. So you will definitely not be judged for of it.”

Parent trap
Singhal reveals that in several cases, it is the parents, and not youngsters, who register their sons and daughters after bad experiences. The most active age group are those between 18-40 years and include working women/men as well as students and professionals.

“A majority of people who log in are overweight themselves, but we have also had people who are not overweight and are willing to look beyond the weight issue when it comes to choosing their partners.” The site has been receiving good response. Singhal says, “No one has told us that they felt targeted or that we aren’t being sensitive to their problems. In fact, most people who have called us said that through the site they have found partners who value them and are sensitive.”

While it is difficult for the sisters to keep tabs on how many relationships actually culminate into weddings, Singhal says that two confirmed weddings have happened through the website. In fact, it has begun receiving mails from people outside the country, requesting them to get the site go global and multi-lingual. Singhal says, “A lady in France sent an email congratulating us on this venture.

She said that she was happy to see that overweight people finally had some sort of a platform and hoped we expand soon.” For now, the sisters are happy with the website staying national. They plan to add more features and services to help better its reach. Singhal asserts, “We just want to help change the attitude. It should be acceptable to be overweight.”

Key features
To create a profile, just log on to the website and choose from one of their many categories.

In the free category, subscribers get access to all profiles and can look for potential partners.

Premium categories come with a charge but also give users features, such as live chat, compatibility games, YouTube video sharing etc.

There are stringent security checks in place and the chances of fraud are virtually negligible.

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