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How One NGO is Using Recycled ‘Mata Ki Chunni’ to Make Wedding Dresses for the Under-Privileged



An Indian wedding is a big event in just about all possible ways. But it’s also expensive for many family, especially those with less money to spend on the event.

That’s why an NGO called Goonj, based in Delhi, has made it their mission to make sure people with limited financial resources to have all they desire out of their wedding. Goonj goes about this by obtaining wedding dresses that have been worn from people in wealthier cities, redesigning them and then distributing them through local panchayats to people in rural areas.

How? By reusing and recycling ‘mata ki chunni’ (which is often used in large amounts in religious ceremonies) to manufacture lehengas for women getting married. Since many dispose of their chunnis into the river or simply give them away to others, Goonj is asking for people to donate these items to make wedding kits.

With a touch of innovation and skill, this shimmery cloth makes can be used to make stunning apparel. Then there are the kits, which come with an assortment of items like purses, footwear, clothing, cosmetics and other makeup. Because of this, much of the expense for the bride’s and bridegroom’s kin is gone and now the wedding can be had for much less.

Since being founded, Goonj has been able to send 100s of kits to people in various regions, making so many lives better. Those who receive these kits talk about how they exceed their expectations and allow them to experience a bit of luxury that they would otherwise never have.

A standard Wedding Kit comes with wedding dresses for both the bridegroom and the bride, footwear, a purse, jewelry, general clothing, bed sheets, a set of utensils etc.

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