To support the right to marry out of love, Swedish Fashion Brand Björn Borg launched the campaign site Unitethelovers.com in the beginning of April. The site has generated money to support Love Commandos with resources to provide 26 000 hours in shelter for couples on the run from arranged marriages. Due to an urgent need, Björn Borg now doubles the generated support donations and publishes six stories from lovers on the run on the site.
“The need for help has become overwhelming and we are therefore matching the hours generated on our site, to reach 52 000 hours in shelter. We encourage everyone who believes in the right to marry out of love to contribute to Love Commandos”, says Lina Söderqvist, Marketing Director Björn Borg.
Björn Borg has partnered up with the voluntary Indian organisation Love Commandos, offering a refuge; shelter to Indian couples who wish to marry out of love. Help is needed: Love Commandos has during the campaign period experienced a 20% increase in couples pleading for rescue and just last week, a Love Commandos safe house was discovered and set ablaze.
“In every nook and corner of this country there are couples under threat. We are seeing a dramatic increase of refugee couples that is impossible to keep up with. Free love is becoming something to fight for on a massive scale”, comments Sanjoy Sachdev, chairman Love Commandos.
In today’s India, arranged marriages are still the ruling tradition. According to UNICEF, asmany as 90% of all marriages in India are arranged. Potential marriage partners are vetted on the basis of, for instance, their caste, complexion, and horoscope. When choosing love, girls in particular risk facing violence and even death. Faced with a new generation ready to fight for free love the situation is locked on conflict with tradition.
To further highlight the issue and to give a human voice to the situation, Björn Borg today publishes six of the stories of the sheltered couples on unitethelovers.com.
“It is our hope that their stories will fuel the fight for free love in India and around the world”,concludes Lina Söderqvist.
Love Commandos is an Indian voluntary organisation that offers a refuge for lovers who want to marry out of love. Founded in 2010, Love Commandos receives an average of 300 calls per day and has to date helped 23 000 couples, offering seven shelters in New Delhi and NCR (National Capital Region) as well as over 200 shelters around the country.