“We extend a very warm thank you to each of our special wedding guests for joining us and showering us with your blessings as we start our life together. We believe that we have been extremely fortunate and would like to share this joyous occasion with the children of Baale Mane, a loving home for girls in Bangalore, who have overcome extreme deprivation to survive, thrive and aspire,” reads the message displayed on a wedding invitation card of a couple in Bangalore.
Taking a step away from tradition, the new-age couples are increasingly looking for alternative wedding gifts in the form of charity. Be it funds for an NGO or an organisation supporting a cause, today’s young couples are ready to walk that extra mile, in order to bring in a difference in less fortunate people’s lives.
“My partner was very eager to give something back to the society. What better way than doing this on the most important day of our life? We decided to get our relatives and friends involved as well. Hence, my wife suggested that we add a little message on our wedding card. Despite this, there were many who brought gifts,” said Kunal Khemka, who got married in November. Kunal and his wife donated the amount they received to a home for the elderly. “Though to us a sum of Rs37,000 may not sound much, it went a long way to bring smiles on the faces of the inhabitants,” said a visibly pleased Shradha Khemka.
Like Kunal, there are many who believe that there is no greater pleasure than giving. “In return we get blessings from unknown and less privileged people on our special day. Such things are priceless,” said Rishaad and Aruna, who are keen to follow the good example set by friends, the Khemkas, when they get hitched early next year.
Mary C, managing trustee, The Baale Mane Trust, said she was extremely touched by the gesture of the couple who donated over Rs2 lakh last year. “Though this trend is still in the nascent stages, it is picking up. Happiness is reflected on the faces of these little girls,”she said. The money that the couple donated helped provide the girls nutritious food, clothing and education.
Many feel it will be a while before such cases become more and more frequent as Indians traditionally are of the mindset of gifting a token on the wedding day. But, like in the western countries where it is already popular, the day is not far when it gains momentum in India too.