Weddings held in the Gwalior-Chambal region of Madhya Pradesh have a ritual of asking the bride for ornaments or Gold as a choice of gift on the occasion of her wedding. But the family and the in-laws of 22-year-old Priyanka Bhadoriya were in for a surprise when she demanded 10,000 saplings to be planted.
Priyanka said that her demand comes from the realisation of her father’s constant struggle as a farmer amidst droughts.
“From childhood, I had a close connection with the environment. I have been planting saplings from the age of 10. When my marriage was fixed on Earth Day, I was very happy. The environment reminded me of my emotional bonding with it,” said Priyanka. The two families were nonplussed at first, but the groom loved the idea and quickly accepted the demand.
Bhadoriya wanted half of the saplings to be planted at her paternal house and the other half at her in-laws’ house.
Brijesh Singh, Priyanka’s elder brother commented saying, “The in-laws were surprised that the bride wanted plants instead of gold and diamonds. They thought she was asking for a few trees but she made it clear she wanted 10,000 saplings in place of jewellery.” The groom, Ravi Chauhan, was only too happy that his Science graduate wife was so concerned about the environment.
This comes as a welcome change and a good example for others in Madhya Pradesh as the region is stricken with failing crop produces and frequent drought, owing to the heat wave.