In a rural part of Madhya Pradesh, one environmentally-conscious couple’s wedding is an inspiration for all nature-lovers.
As per tradition, in-laws are supposed to gift the bride something on the day of the wedding – usually ornaments or clothes. When the bridegroom’s sister asked the soon-to-be bride Priyanka Bhadoria what kind of gold and ornaments she wanted, she was in for a pleasant surprise.
The 22-year-old science graduate from the village of Kisipura, in Bhind (about 80 kilometres from Gwalior) said that she preferred being gifted plant saplings more than anything else.
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Ravi Chauhan, the bridegroom, admired her honesty and love for nature. “I am happy knowing that she is more concerned about environment than her own wealth,” said Ravi Chauhan to Hindustan Times. Her in-laws agreed to her strange but refreshing request. Says Priyanka’s elder brother, “The in-laws were surprised that the bride wanted plants instead of gold and diamonds. They thought she was asking for a few trees but she made it clear she wanted 10,000 saplings in place of jewellery.”
Priyanka says that she was reminded of how the widespread deforestation and green cover depletion affected the soil and ultimately ruined crop yields. Madhya Pradesh is also prone to drought and depleting water levels.
It was especially worrying for her father, who struggled with drought and failed crops. She realised at a young age that maintaining a clean, green environment was key to everyone’s survival. She asked for 5000 sapling to be planted in her father’s house, while the rest were to be planted at her in-laws’ house.
“From childhood, I had a close connection with environment,” she said, adding that she would be giving away saplings to farmers and social workers, to raise interest among them in maintaining greenery.
After their wedding on Friday, April 22, the couple planted two seedlings in their village. “We planted two saplings of mango as it is considered pious by nature. We will plant saplings on our every wedding anniversary,” she said.