Love Commandos is a voluntary non-profit organization in India which helps and protects couples in love from harassment and honor killing. They provide housing, legal aid, and protection to couples seeking their aid who are being persecuted by family and society for wanting to marry based solely on mutual attraction and love.
In India, most marriages are arranged by parents, with potential marriage partners vetted on the basis of caste, complexion, horoscope, etc.,—the matter of love is rarely considered. Falling in love carries a strong social stigma in India. Love across the barriers of caste, religion and economic class can be problematic, resulting in violence and occasionally honor killing. The police have been known to refuse protection to such couples, sometimes even siding with parents and arresting the male lovers on false charges of rape.
The Love Commandos consists of journalists, businessmen, lawyers and human rights activists. They provide protection to lovers from religious hardliners. They also run secret shelters for eloped couples, where they may stay until they gain financial independence.They also help willing couples to get married and register their marriage with the civil authorities.
The group was originally called the Peace Commandos, who worked to protect lovers from religious extremist groups during occasions like Valentine’s Day. Later, they decided to rename the group, and concentrate on protecting lovers and on the issue of honor killing.In 2010, Love Commando was formed after a man was arrested on statutory rape charges. Even though the woman went on record that she was an adult and the relationship was consensual, the police decided to attest the father’s statement that she was a minor.
Harsh Malhotra, a travel agent, founded the group. He was assaulted himself when he went to his future wife’s family and later they had to elope. He is now an interior designer and the chief coordinator of the group. Sanjay Sachdeva is one of the co-founders and now runs the organization as its chairman.
The organization completed its 500 days of formation in November 2011. It has more than 600,000 members across India. It receives an average of 300 calls everyday on its 24-hours helpline.They have 200 shelters across India.