You have to agree, bridal wears are ridiculously expensive. It’s almost as if shopkeepers immediately increase the price of an outfit by 20% when they get to know that the customer is a to-be bride. But what about underprivileged people? Will they not be able to buy bridal wear of their choice because of how expensive it is?
However, one man named Nasar Thootha, who is a taxi driver in Kerala, runs a ‘wedding dress bank’ to help poor girls look gorgeous on their big day without having to spend any money on the ensemble. According to a report by Al Jazeera, the man has helped over 260 brides so far by giving them a wedding dress free of cost.
So, what inspired him to start this bank in the first place? Nasar used to work in Saudi Arabia earlier. After he came back to India, he used to work for state agencies in rehabilitating the poor and homeless. It was then that he came across several families who couldn’t afford to buy a wedding dress for their daughters.
In April 2020, Nasar started the ‘dress bank’ as an experiment in a room in his house located in Thootha village in Malappuram district of Kerala. He requested people to hand him over their wedding dresses and soon, he collected them from those living in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and even UAE and Saudi Arabia.
“Wedding attires are all about vanity. They are worn for a few hours and then never come out of the cupboards. Realising this, many families came forward to support our cause,” he said.
As word spread, lots of bulky packages started to appear at his doorstep containing wedding dresses. He then had them dry cleaned and stored them in air-tight packages. The brides contacted him on Facebook and then visited the bank to choose a dress of their liking. Some brides, who live afar, finalised their dresses via video call and Nasar then parcelled the outfit to them.
His dress bank currently has 800 wedding outfits, fit for Hindu, Muslim and Christian weddings and ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000. The collection includes sarees, lehengas and dresses.
“With God’s grace, I personally don’t have to invest any money in running the dress bank. I am just a channel through which women who need them most receive them from kind donors,” he said.
One of the customers of the bank is a 31-year-old woman from Mumbai (name unrevealed) who had already spent a lot of money behind the wedding venue and the food, having nothing left to buy an outfit for her big day.
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She chose her outfit from Nasar’s dress bank via video call and within a week, it was delivered to her. Also, Nasar doesn’t ask the brides to give the dresses back. Instead, he asks them to pass it on to other underprivileged brides.
“When the packet arrived last week, me and my mum broke down and hugged each other in sheer joy,” she said.
We laud Nasar Thootha for his incredible gesture!