A wedding where the pandit accepts ‘dakshina’ (remuneration) in cheque, band artistes and wedding organisers are digital and the entire ceremony is managed cashless may be a pipe dream in these times of demonetisation. But that’s how the nuptials of 72 underprivileged couples from Delhi-NCR will take place on Saturday morning.
Bharat Vikas Parishad, a pan India cultural body, is organising the ‘cheque-only’ marriage ceremony. With a budget of around Rs80 lakh, the organisation plans to pay the pandal organisers, lighting equipment facilitators, band artistes, caterers and pandits in cheque, bank transfers and e-wallet payments.
“Every single payment will be done in a cashless manner. When we began accepting donations from various organizations and residents in Noida, we made it clear that it is a strict cheque/online banking only wedding,” said Pankaj Jindal, Noida founder of Bharat Vikas Parishad.
The organisation has been holding community marriages for underprivileged couples in the past as well.
There have been three such marriage events in the past in which more than 300 couples have tied the knot. But this is the first time that a cashless marriage ceremony is being organised.
“Usually, we organise marriage of at least 100 couples, but this year, due to demonetisation, we could manage only 72 couples. We wanted to ensure that we follow the prime minister’s call to go digital,” said Rajiv Agarwal, president, Bharat Vikas Parishad.
Of the 72 couples, 12 are from Bihar and the remaining from Delhi-NCR. The families had to apply for the wedding ceremony a few months ago.
“I am surprised and ecstatic about the fact that my daughter’s wedding is being conducted without cash. I believe every marriage should be done in this manner,” said Shakuntala Devi of Sasaram, Bihar.
Apart from the wedding, the couples will also receive various gifts to begin their married life. The gift items were also bought without cash.
“The couples will also receive a dish set, blankets, fan, TV, gold mangal sutra, mattresses and furniture worth Rs90,000 so that they can begin their lives together easily. A majority of the fund come from our organisation and the remaining amount was received from various philanthropists in Noida. All our records are transparent and we are trying to set an example,” Jindal said.