Unlike other cultures, marriage is an institution in the Hindu way of life, one of the 16 Sanskaras; the Gruhastha ashrama is the most vital of the four ashrams of Brahmacharya, Gruhastha, Vaanaprastha and Sannyaasa, as it provides support to the other three. According to the Holy Scriptures, a majority of sacrificial rituals can be performed only by a lawfully wedded couple. In general, marriages in India have become a costly affair due to various social formalities. Many poor families can ill-afford to bear the expenses forced onto them. In order to assist such poor families and youngsters who wish to tie the knot, Kashi Annapurna Annakshetra Trust has taken the initiative to help them by organizing mass marriages at an appropriate large accommodation with a large gathering (about 5000 persons in attendance) since the year 2008. This noble scheme is put into practice every year on the auspicious day of "Akshaya Truteeya" (Vaishakha Suddha) and 25 to 30 couples from various walks of life are united in holy marriage. The newly wedded are provided with the basic essential house-hold articles besides one month of provisions (Ration). The same courtesy is extended to other poor couples who approach the trust for assistance in cash or kind. Vedic Scholars and the elite of the society attend the function and shower the newlyweds with blessings. About 145 couples benefit from this scheme every year. Phone: 0542-6540396.