Arts, Culture & Media

Online marriage service booms in India

Head for northern India for today's Geo Quiz. We're looking for a city that has the distinction of being the capital of TWO Indian states. They are Punjab and Haryana.

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The city is their dual capital, but technically it's not part of either state. Instead, it's one of India's "union territories."

Delhi is another. The city we're after is nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas. And many of its single residents are turning to the Web to find a partner.

�While initially this has been frowned upon meeting someone on the Internet "my god is it secure?" but over the long term in fact the use of technology will increase security and safety to a level that would be far superior than in the real world.�

Indian wedding

Indian wedding

We'll tell you more about an Indian match-making website in a few minutes. First -- you've got to name the city that is capital of both Punjab and Haryana states.

Today's Geo Quiz sent us in search of an Indian city that serves as capital to both Punjab and Haryana.

The answer is the city of Chandigarh.

Chandigarh also one of several Indian cities where a booming Internet matchmaking company is marketing its services. Shaadi means marriage in Hindi and shaadi.com is India's biggest matchmaking and marriage website.

Tinku Ray reports from New Delhi:

Shaadi radio ad: �Have you ever wandered if Shaadi.com really works?�

Shaadi.com has been able to tap in to that enthusiasm very well. Boasting 10 million members and over a million marriages, the site has been a runaway success.

It was a simple solution to what seemed to be a rather large problem given the emphasis we have in this country on marriage and such few opportunities to meet potential life partners.

Anupam Mittal is the 35 year old founder of Shaadi.com. Mittal says it wasn't easy to challenge conservative and traditional views of marriage. It was his strong belief that technology is the best way to get through those barriers that spurred him on.

Mittal: �We've all sort of become a fast food generation, here and now, I want my iPod and I want it now. And we are connected anywhere and everywhere on the move. So it makes sense to build a life partner solution around technology.�

With that in mind, Mittal has been making his own alliances to give wider access to the site. He's tied up with a television cable company and cell phone provider. There are many more Indians connected to the net through their cell phones than home computers.

For The World I'm Tinku Ray in New Delhi.