Gifts with a Conscience

The market maybe buzzing with grand gifting ideas but there is a section of society who think a little differently. Many brides & grooms want to give and receive gifts that support a cause– and NGOs with creative wares and unique new services like have stepped in to fulfill this need.

Pouches & phone covers, bangles & bindis by NGOs
In India, we may have not the concept of favors, but at Mehndis most families give a gift to the girls, often bought from NGOs. In Mumbai, many NGOs participate at wedding shows and shopping extravaganza and in their stalls you’ll find beautiful and often not-so-expensive creations– coin pouches, mobile phone covers, bangles, bindis, beaded coasters, dining mats, book marks or jewel boxes.

Packaging Elements by Shraddha Charitable Trust
Yesteryear model and fashionista Rasna Behl tells that most of her friends source gift boxes, decorative packaging and serving plates from NGOs who produce some great quality products. She did the same when her son got married, “I visited Shraddha Charitable Trust in Mahalakshmi where young autistic adults are empowered with special skills to create various eco-friendly, artistic articles and handicrafts. The wedding was a simple affair, what was heartening was that everyone appreciated the simple, elegant gifts and packaging elements.”

Gifts with the Invitation Cards
Accessories Designer Sarika Mehta Desai states: “This year I received three invitations where the accompanying gifts with the invites were created by NGOs. My good friend Neha Thirani, for her sister’s wedding chose Shraddha Charitable Trust to source the chocolate boxes to go with the cards, she even put in a little note about the Trust in the box, to help spread the word.”

Akshaya Patra Foundation
In their reception invite TVS heiress Lakshmi Venu and Infosys scion Rohan Murthy requested guests not to carry gifts or flowers and enclosed a small note on Akshaya Patra foundation, a charitable organisation that provides children in public schools with wholesome meals for lunch, and requested guests to make contributions to the foundation instead.
Gift registry site has introduced a special feature on ‘charities’ where couples can choose a charitable cause close to their heart and ask their friends to donate their gift money to a charity rather than spending it on buying gifts. Here’s a sample of a charity gift registry created on the site–11907 where the bride & groom have requested friends to bless them by donating to NGOs like Pratham and Akanksha.

The big fat Indian wedding will get bigger by the years, but a small yet conscious decision on the part of couples can help the needy and the deserving. What better way to start a beautiful journey together.

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