Can you imagine an Indian wedding without loud music, over-the-top decor and gifts pouring in from guests? While we, as Indians, have always been susceptible to extravagance at weddings, the overindulgence has now reached dizzying heights. Let's not forget the wastage that occurs and the amount of plastic that's used at a wedding. While they say marriages are forever, no one ever said anything about the waste footprint from weddings that also remains on the earth forever.
In times like these, when we only see ostentatious weddings, it is heartwarming to see couples who go the extra mile to do their bit for the environment. Two such people are Ajay and Babita, who did their best to send out a social message and had a wedding of many firsts.
Ajay Jatav, who works in a private company in Hyderabad, married Babita from a village called Karoli, which is 20kms from Alwar (Rajasthan). Their wedding was unique in many ways. One, there was no groom making an entry with his baraat. Instead, leading the baraat was the bride, who arrived at the groom's house on a chariot. Two, the couple decided to have a plastic-free wedding and gave out saplings along with books as wedding favours.
“Ajay and I wanted to rewrite some conventions to ensure gender equality. We meant to send social messages through our marriage. I’m happy our ideas were accepted by our families and now people are talking about it. I hope we have inspired more couples to do the same," Babita told a leading daily.
The couple has also gifted books worth Rs 30,000 to the public library that is being built in Babita's village Karoli.
Ajay said, “I wanted to do my bit for the environment. No plastic was used at the wedding, food was served in steel utensils and kulhad." Their wedding invites were also printed on cloth and no paper was wasted during the ceremony.
Another tradition that the couple refused to follow was letting a priest solemnise their wedding. Instead, Ajay and Babita's wedding was solemnised by the Indian Constitution. Yes, there was no priest or mahurat. In fact, the books that the couple gave out as wedding favours were copies of the Indian constitution.
Now, that's how you reduce the carbon footprint of your celebrations. Well done, Ajay and Babita! We're proud of you.
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