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Srinagar advocate cuts wedding expenses to feed poor in lockdown

SRINAGAR: When 31-year-old advocate Wasim Shaban got married in October 2018, he made a conscious decision not to splurge and instead donate money to impoverished girls who are unable to find suitable grooms due to financial constraints.

Come August 5, his plans came a cropper as Kashmir descended into chaos after the abrogation of Article 370. Wasim postponed the plan till 2020, but destiny had other things in store. With people suffering in the COVID lockdown, he decided to use the savings to feed poor and needy.

“We were planning to throw a big bash. Our estimate was to prepare 200 wazwan tramies. But we decided not to splurge and solemnize marriage with simplicity. We arranged a small get together for family and close friends. It came down to 50 tramies. We reduced the cost and saved some money,” he said.

A resident of Humhama, Wasim created a corpus and decided to distribute the money among the unmarried girls. Priorities however changed when the government announced lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID 19.

“Since the marriage season ends in October, we decided to distribute the money in 2019. Then came August 5 and everything went for a toss. We were planning to do it in 2020.  And again COVID 19 lockdown hit our plans. Since Kashmir is facing the biggest crisis, we decided to use this money to feed poor and needy,” he said.

More than 250 food kits were distributed among the needy. “Each kit costs Rs 1000. So far, we have distributed 250 kits. Another 250 kits will be distributed in coming days,” he said.

Wasim, however, is not giving up on his original plans of providing financial assistance to poor unmarried girls. “This project is very close to my heart. I have decided to launch an awareness campaign and persuade my friends and relatives to cut cost on the marriage and donate the saved money to the young unmarried girls,” he said.

For a 31-year-old advocate, the mission has just begun. “Our society tends to look down upon people who do not throw a big bash. I want to change this attitude. If our simplicity will help poor girls, why not go for it. Let people say what they want. We should do everything for the sake of Almighty Allah,” he said.