When police officers Manoj Patil and Sarita Laykar decided to tie the knot, they came to a consensus on how their wedding would be. They decided to eschew a grand Indian wedding in favour of a more modest affair and donate their savings to charity in order to help others.
The couple, who are based in Mumbai, got married in a low-key ceremony at Narsobachi Wadi. The idea was floated by the groom, Manoj, who works at the Marine Drive police station.
Only days after they had been introduced by their families, he asked to meet with Sarita alone to discuss the semantics of their wedding. That’s when they made the decision.
Image for representation. Photo source
Sarita who spoke to The Hindu said, “Manoj called me two days after he visited my house with his family, and asked to meet. Curious, I agreed. I was left astonished by what he told me as I, too, have grown up seeing lavish weddings. He left it to me to decide how our wedding should be, and when I put the idea to my family, they liked it too.”
With their families backing the idea, the groom also rejected other archaic and illegal practices like dowry. The couple also decided to pool in their savings to donate to charity. With a sum of ₹1 lakh each (₹2 lakh in total), they gave ₹50,000 to a school in Dewle village, ₹50,000 to Naam Foundation, an organisation working to help farmers and spent the rest on various other causes such as ₹5,000 for a public library. They still have ₹50,000 and are in the process of consulting their peers on how best to donate it.
As for the wedding itself, it was an affair meant only for close friends and families. Each guest was given a sapling as a return gift and were encouraged to plant it wherever they could.
Some weddings don’t have to be grand for them to make an impact.