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Green weddings set to give two Banda villages a lot to talk about

The move is a novel departure from the current trend wherein LPG, styrofoam and plastic plates, DJs, aerated drinks and fireworks have made their presence felt in village weddings

lucknow Updated: Jun 19, 2018 14:45 IST
Pankaj Jaiswal
Pankaj Jaiswal
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Green wedding,Banda,Bundelkhand
One of the would-be brides sprucing up her house ahead of the wedding in a Banda village.(HT Photo)

Two Banda villages in UP’s drought-prone Bundelkhand region are out to set a green example with two back-to-back ‘eco-friendly’ weddings replete with bullock carts, earthen hearth, leaf plates and leaf bowls.

What is more, each guest will take away a sapling as a return gift, instead of a token cash or a sweet box.

Both the ‘green weddings’ will be solemnised in Banda’s Naraini block.

The move is a novel departure from the current trend wherein LPG, styrofoam and plastic plates, DJs, aerated drinks and fireworks have made their presence felt in village weddings.

Yashwant Patel, 45, the man behind the eco-weddings in Banda, says: “Instead of tractors or jeeps, the marriage procession will have the best of bullock carts and oxen. Chulha (earthen hearth) will be used to cook food, rather than LPG. Instead of tents, we will have ‘mandap (canopies)’ made of mango and jamun leaves.”

Explaining why he took up the idea, Yashwant Patel, who is also a primary schoolteacher, says, “Often teachers talk about the environment in class. I decided to walk the talk.” One of the weddings is that of his niece Preeti.

The wedding party will not use any fireworks or DJ. Only pattals and donas (leaf plates and leaf bowls) will be used to eat food and kulhars (earthern cups) to drink water. So, there will be no land, air, water, or sound pollution because of the weddings.

Preeti Patel of Khalari Mohanpur village will wed Surendra Patel of the neighbouring Chattarpur district in Madhya Pradesh on June 25. The villages of Preeti and Surendra are 13 kilometres apart. Lakshmi Patel of Kharaunch village will wed Luv Kush on June 20.

When Preeti’s family went to inform the forest department that they needed saplings for the wedding, the forest department officials offered to be present at the wedding and gift a sapling to each guest free of cost under the ‘one person, one plant’ scheme.

Forest conservator Arvind Kumar Singh and ranger JK Jaiswal will distribute the saplings on the occasion.

Ashish Sagar, a drought and environmental activist in the region, says: “The objective of holding the weddings in such a manner is to sensitise people towards the environment and wean them away from such lifestyles that are detrimental to the environment, human health, and animal health. For instance, the styrofoam (thermocol) and plastic plates harm the land, but leaf plates and bowls, when thrown away, turn to manure.”

All the guests at Lakshmi’s wedding too will get a sapling each which Lakshmi’s farmer father Ashok Patel nurtured in his nursery.

Both the couples will plant saplings on their wedding days. Their wedding cards have pro-environment slogans all over them.

First Published: Jun 19, 2018 14:39 IST