Richi and Sagar vowed not just to be with each other, but to also spread seva or service.
Fashion entrepreneur Richi Sood and political consultant Sagar Vishnoi got married in Delhi this year. The highlight of the wedding was not the scale of grandeur or gifts, but that it was a volunteer event. They created #SevaSeShadi, an event on Facebook, and invited volunteers through a registration form.
Richi and Sagar believe that they are fortunate to lead privileged lives. They also believed that not everyone is blessed with the same opportunities, so it becomes a responsibility to serve those who are not so blessed as them.
Sagar was inspired by a friend’s frugal wedding, and Richi also agreed when he proposed they do the same. So the couple invited friends and relatives to volunteer at their wedding ceremony, and floated a fundraising campaign to sponsor the education of 11 students.
The Hindi word seva means ‘service’.
We have to move forward as a society, as individuals, as a nation for better and meaningful relations and events. For us, seva means to serve those who don't get the opportunity to express or develop themselves, says 28-year-old Richi.
The idea was to make their important day really special. They thought a feast for a 1000 people would not serve much purpose.
So they decided to invite those who rarely get a chance to attend weddings. They wished spend time with children from orphanages, and contribute to their education, thus impacting their lives for a longer time to come.
That's how we chose to have shaadi with seva to tie the knot with a purpose, for a vow which can make lives around us better, she tells me.
Hundred and twenty children came from Bucket List, an NGO that works towards fulfilling wishes of children, and many more graced the event with wishes, dance and laughter. The wedding even saw strangers coming from other cities only to volunteer! Many promised to continue the tradition and adopt the same for their own marriages.
The couple believes that a solid education creates the foundation for a person’s life. This, in turn, leads to better citizens. Education is a cause close to Richi and Sagar’s hearts. So, to aid the cause, they asked their guests not to bring them gifts, but to help educate 11 students of their friend, Anurag Kundu, a Teach for India Fellow.
They also vowed to conduct monthly workshops with the 120 guests from Bucket List to improve their levels of motivation, and physical and mental wellbeing. Finally, Richi and Sagar promised to continue to serve those less privileged than themselves, and give back to the society.