Thiruvananthapuram: A new study conducted by the Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP) about the extravagant spending of Keralites on wedding ceremonies has raised many eyebrows. According to the study, Keralites are estimated to be collectively spending Rs67.87 billion on weddings every year. An equally significant finding is that Keralites spend Rs28 billion on medical expenses annually. The findings of the study are even more striking considering that the state still has a large number of people who are unemployed and hundreds of others who may not be able to afford a single good meal a day.
Taking note of such extravagant spending, the Thiruvananthapuram Archbishop Susaipakiam had recently decided to ban engagement ceremonies associated with marriages in the hope that at least one occasion for such lavish spending would be reduced.
The KSSP survey, titled "How Kerala Lives, How Kerala Thinks", also reveals details pertaining to several other social issues.
According to the findings, there are about 1.23 million unemployed people in the state, out of whom nearly 86 per cent have never had a job and 2.8 per cent are those who have returned from the Gulf countries.
An encouraging aspect of the findings is that as many as 95 per cent of the state's population, cutting across income brackets, live in their own homes, and that 43 per cent of the houses in Kerala are concrete structures.