"I met her for the first time during my fellowship where I was teaching underprivileged children. She was 13, but was in the grade 4 because she had to keep repeating her year. Working didn't give her much time to study, but she was always so keen to learn. She'd tell me, 'Didi please help me, I want to study'. There was always a twinkle in her eye... she wanted to become something - she wanted to change her reality.
But the day she got her period, everything changed. She stopped coming to school and I lost all contact with her. After a point, I started getting worried and went to her house to check if she was okay. There they told me that they were marrying her off. I saw her one last time-- the twinkle was replaced with a plea to save her, but I couldn't do anything.
Years later, I came back home and set up my own event management business. I started dealing with a lot of weddings and by default a lot of brides. I kept thinking about her, and always had a sense of unfulfillment. Whereas on the other side, there were some girls who wore their everyday clothes to their wedding - because they couldn't afford any better.
I didn't know if it was going to work, or if brides would even agree, but I knew I had to give it a shot. So after a friend of a friend got married, I asked her if she was willing to donate her dress to me, for these underprivileged girls to borrow. She agreed... and that's where it all began!
I started putting up bridal wear online, and advertising how they were available to anyone for free!
I still remember when I saw my first bride in a borrowed gown. Everyone gasped as she walked down the aisle and her parents had tears in their eyes because they never thought their daughter could look like that. I finally felt fulfilled. At the end of it, the bride came up to me and said, 'Thank you for making my day so special'... and she had that same twinkle in her eye."
Humans of Bombay, Fb
Leave Your Comments