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Guests of Honour at this Awesome Couple’s Wedding were 500 Underprivileged Kids

Weddings are special occasions. They mark happy and new beginnings for the newly-weds, and they are also a celebration for two individuals who have pledged to commit to one another for life. But they also mean spending a lot of money, and though there’s nothing wrong in wanting to celebrate, some weddings can get a little (and there’s no polite way of putting it) excessive.

That’s why we were touched and inspired when we came across a couple in Bengaluru who decided to celebrate their wedding in a unique way. Instead of treating their guests with sumptuous food and extravagant celebrations, they decided to use the occasion to help underprivileged children.

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Surabhi and Hemant with their little guests at their wedding reception.
Photo Source

To give shape to the initiative, on October 23, 2016 i.e. a fortnight before her wedding, Surabhi did a Facebook live announcing the date of her wedding and urging everybody in her friend list and beyond to be part of the festivities by volunteering their services for the cause. They could register their volunteer services by simply filling up a Google Form.

Delighted to see the positive response they got for the video, the couple then started a donation portal and requested guests not to bring any gifts and instead donate the money to different organizations working with underprivileged kids. Gifts like clothes, toys, books, sweets, etc, that could be used by the kids was encouraged.

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Underprivileged kids enjoying themselves at Surabhi and Hemant’s ‘Wedding with a Difference’
Photo Source

Next, they partnered with the Samarthanam Trust, which works with differently abled children, to invite about 250 children to the event. They also got help from organisations like NELE (a caring home for destitute children),Youth for Seva, Seva Café, etc to invite another 250 children. The compassionate couple also requested all their friends to bring a child who they had met during their daily interactions like a domestic help, ragpicker or anyone they meet on the streets.

In an interview to the The Goodwill Project, Hemant said,

“You can have money, power and all the material things that life can offer, but the joy that comes from serving people who don’t even have the bare minimum is unparalleled. Our humble effort is like a drop in an ocean and by involving our friends and family in this initiative, we are hoping they too understand what it is to serve, share or give. Hopefully, the feeling they go back with shall inspire them to try and give back to society in their own modest way. Every drop counts.”

More than 9,000 people saw Surabhi’s FB live and almost everybody had liked the idea and agreed to help. When Surabhi and Hemant finally got married on November 6, 2016, the guests of honour at her reception were around 500 under-privileged kids. Musical shows, mehendi workshops, dance, face painting, Origami and other fun activities to keep the kids engaged and ensure they had a good time.

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Hemant (left) dancing with the invited kids at their wedding reception
Photo Source
The couple’s friends also helped by entertaining and looking after the kids before doubled up as extra serving hands while serving delicious food to the children. For Surabhi and Hemant, the smiles on the faces of the children and seeing them enjoying the party made their day even more special. As Surabhi later wrote on her Facebook page,
“The dream wedding made it to reality. An evening of so many smiles.”

At a time when couples usually want lavish weddings and grand honeymoons, Hemant Gaule and Surabhi Hodigere have set an example by opening their hearts and helping underprivileged children. Its thanks to inspiring couples like them that the idea of moving away from the big-fat Indian weddings and putting the money and resources to better use is gaining ground in the Indian society. We salute their spirit and their ideals.

If you want to help these kids too, here’s how you can contact these two organizations that are working to empower and educate them.

Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled
CA: 39,15th Cross,
16th Main,Sector – 4,
HSR Layout,Bengaluru – 560102
Mob : +91-80-25721444,
info@samarthanam.org

Nele Foundation,
No. 9/2, Lakshmidevi Nagara Main Road,
Opp : Veena Education Trust,
Laggere, Bengaluru – 560096
Phone : 080 – 2837 1474
Email: nelehsp@gmail.com


Also Read: 12 Unusual Weddings of 2016 That Will Forever Change the Way You Think


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Written by Sanchari Pal

A lover of all things creative and happy, Sanchari is a biotech engineer who fell in love with writing and decided to make it her profession. She is also a die-hard foodie, a pet-crazy human, a passionate history buff and an ardent lover of books. When she is not busy at The Better India, she can usually be found reading, laughing at silly cat videos and binge-watching TV seasons.