Sending out a strong message, Karnataka transport minister R Ramalinga Reddy’s daughter Sowmya Reddy and her bridegroom Abhishek Raje had an eco-friendly wedding reception recently.
The idea was to ensure that the waste generated at the event shouldn’t go to the landfills.
For that, Sowmya roped in Hasiru Dala, an organisation of trained waste workers, to segregate wet and dry waste. Around 150 staff workers were employed.
“Soumya wanted to make it as eco-friendly as possible. Our aim was to ensure there is no flower waste at all,” said Marwan Abubarker, co-founder of Hasiru Dala.
He added that the food waste went to a private biomethansation plant and dry waste went to other collection centres.
The wedding reception was organised at Bangalore Main Palace.
The reception in which 20,000 guests were invited were given a strict dress code and were asked to not to bring gifts or bouquets.
Sowmya, a vegan animal rights activist and an environmentalist, said that the guests were asked not to wear silk, leather or woolen products.
“None of the clothes being gifted to the relatives and family contained silk, wool or leather,” she added.
Sowmya, who runs a vegan cafe in Koramangala, insisted on vegan and no-waste food for the reception.
“We didn’t use milk, ghee or curd as they wanted to stick to a vegan cuisine. Instead we used coconut juice, soya been milk, and soybean yoghurt,” said N Chandra Shekar, the caterer.
Goodie bags with vegan products and leaflets were distributed among their closest friends with a note on veganism penned by Sowmya.
“Love and passion for animals and the planet is what brought us to together and we wanted to share this with you…As a wedding gift to us, try a vegan lifestyle for a change and see how your body, mind and soul respond to a cruelty-free lifestyle!”
The ladies were gifted a kit with toiletries without animal products and which are not tested on animals. And for men, it was a non-leather wallet and chocolate biscuit pack.
What’s more? Even the stage was decorated with roses made of paper, and plants saplings were distributed amongst guests.
“Over 5,000 saplings were bought from government nurseries. The plants included sandalwood, rosewood, mahogany, jackfruit and neem,” said Abubaker.
Not surprisingly, the bride and groom’s attire followed the same rule, cruelty-free cosmetics were used for makeup.