COU­PLES TURN BIG DAY INTO GIV­ING DAY

A joy­ful trend of do­nat­ing sh­a­gun money and treat­ing the poor to a wed­ding feast is sweep­ing through Delhi NCR

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Ab­hi­nav Verma ab­hi­nav.verma@htlive.com

The big, fat In­dian wed­ding is a stel­lar pro­duc­tion. There’s Bol­ly­wood mu­sic, cou­ture dresses, lav­ish menus, os­ten­ta­tious dis­play of jew­ellery... For Del­hi­ites, it’s that pin­na­cle event, defin­ing their so­cial sta­tus. How­ever, there seems to be a change in the air. Wed­ding plan­ners in the city say that some young cou­ples are giv­ing back to so­ci­ety on their big day.

While some are do­nat­ing ex­cess food, some are do­nat­ing their sh­a­gun money. “There are many cou­ples who get mar­ried in a tem­ple and give the money they save to noble causes. They of­ten dis­trib­ute gourmet food to [the poor] out­side the tem­ple,” says Ki­ran Sab­har­wal, 40, wed­ding plan­ner. “Cou­ples also in­vite chil­dren from or­phan­ages to their wed­dings. Over the past six months, I’ve planned many such wed­dings. The num­ber is cer­tainly on the rise. Many cou­ples use their sh­a­gun money to help acid at­tack vic­tims through NGOs.”

Ak­shat Gupta, 31, a wed­ding plan­ner, says, “We of­ten tie up with cater­ers and NGOs to en­sure that food is not wasted. We also sug­gest ideas to cou­ples who like to do­nate.”

Will this trend grow big­ger? “It won’t hap­pen overnight, but I think it’s the way for­ward. It’s the young gen­er­a­tion that prac­tises the con­cept of a ‘sus­tain­able wed­ding’, whereas our par­ents still pre­fer a big wed­ding,” says Ab­hishek Kaushik, 31, flo­ral set de­signer and wed­ding plan­ner.

Among Delhi cou­ples who opted for char­ity are Hi­man­shu Sax­ena, 32, and Pankhuri Sax­ena, 29; and Aakash Gupta, 27, and Runika Gupta, 25. The Sax­e­nas do­nated half their sh­a­gun money. The Gup­tas do­nated their lehenga and sher­wani to an NGO, for it to use the clothes for com­mu­nity wed­dings. The ex­cess food from their wed­ding went to or­phan­ages.

We be­lieve if one is in a po­si­tion to bring some joy into some­one else’s life, then one should

AAKASH GUPTA, MAR­RIED TO RUNIKA

We do­nated half of the sh­a­gun amount to an NGO called Zindagi. Do­ing our bit for so­ci­ety brought us closer

HI­MAN­SHU SAX­ENA, MAR­RIED TO PANKHURI

PHOTO:SHUTTERSTOCK

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