From Richer, For Poorer

Indian couple avoid lavish wedding spending to give to charity

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Two generous newlyweds decided to abandon the tradition of spending vast amounts of money on their wedding to instead donate to those less fortunate. Specifically, their earnings went into the education of children of farmers who committed suicide and books for village libraries.

The groom Abhay Deware, hailed from a farmers village in Umbarda Bazaar in Karanja Lad of Amravati district of Maharashtra. After educating himself he joined the Indian Revenue Services and it was during his studies he met his bride to be Priti Kumbhare. Both career driven, Deware was an Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax in Nagpur and Kumbhare joined IDBI Bank in Mumbai as Assistant Manager.

It was in March 2016 that Deware met President Pranab Mukherjee who encouraged him and his fellow workers to create socio-economic change. Additionally, Deware became aware of the rising suicide rate amongst farmers due to poverty and the startling fact that Rs. 36,000 crore was spent on agriculture and farmer welfare, which is half of what is spent on Indian weddings. On average Rs. 1 lakh crore is spent on weddings each year in India.

Deware stated, “Marriage is also one of the major reasons behind the rising number of farmer suicides in Vidarbha. All families tend to organize lavish marriages by imitating the rich classes. Yavatmal, the native place of my wife, and Amravati, both have gained infamy for the highest number of farmer suicides in the country. We wanted to help such families, from whatever little we have earned.”

Therefore, with the full support of their families, Deware and Kumbhare decided to spend their wedding money on the families of the farmers who had committed suicide. The couple donated Rs. 20,000 each to 10 farmers’ families, where the only breadwinner of each family had committed suicide due to huge debts and crop failures. Remaining savings were used to donate books worth Rs. 52,000 to five libraries in Amravati.

On the wedding day of July 3rd 2016, the couple swapped garlands and decorations for inspirational posters encouraging guests to do more to help society.

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