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Ever heard of Wedding Kits from Religious and #Wedding Attire? #Upcycling #WATWB

We are the World BlogfestWe are the World Blogfest is back with its second edition.

To spread peace and humanity on social media, a few of us have worked together to create the We are the World Blogfest, and the cohosts for the April 2017 WATWB are: Belinda Witzenhausen, Inderpreet Uppal, Mary Giese, Peter Nena, and Simon Falk.


In the spirit of “In Darkness, Be Light,” here’s a link to a heartwarming piece of news from India, about the upcycling of urban wedding attire and religious offerings to create wedding kits for underprivileged rural folk:

Weddings in India are a grand affair in every possible way. However, these become a financial burden for several families who have limited means to spend on the occasion.

A Delhi-based non-profit, Goonj has taken up the responsibility to make sure that those people with a tiny wedding budget end up with almost everything they want. Goonj has been involved in collecting used wedding attires from urban cities, remodeling and distributing them in rural villages through the local panchayats. They recycle and use ‘mata ki chunni’ (used in bulks for religious ceremonies) to make lehengas for brides. While many discard those chunnis in the rivers and some give them away, Goonj urges and requests people to give them those Chunnis so that they can make wedding kits for people.”

In a country like India, where the gap between the rich and the poor is very wide, it is non-profits like Goonj that bridge the divide. I’ve met Goonj’s founder Anshu Gupta, a Magsaysay award winner, and been part of their initiatives in whatever small way I can.

If you want to know more about Goonj and its beautiful concept of the economy of trash, you can do so here, or on its website. The folks at Goonj are doing a magical, effective job of poverty alleviation, environmental protection, and social justice with two simple concepts: What’s trash for someone is treasure for another, and giving is not about the donor’s pride, but the receiver’s dignity. Here’s a video that explains the vision further:

I hope you’d consider supporting Goonj with material, if you live in India, or with monetary support, internationally.


If you liked this piece of news and would like to take part in this blogfest, sign up in the WE ARE THE WORLD Blogfest Linky List below and please help spread the word on social media via the hashtag #WATWB.


  1. Keep your post to below 500 words.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love and humanity.
  3. Join us in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More We Are the World Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.

#WATWB also wants to link to charities supported by the co-hosts, and you could choose to donate to some of them or add links to local charities you support. Here’s the organization I’ve come to love and support: PROJECT WHY— and here’s one of my previous posts on the work they do. Feel free to send them a little of your help– every little bit counts.

What piece of positive news have you read lately– would you like to talk about it in the comments, or make a post of your own?  Would you like to visit Goonj or replicate its model in your community? Have you signed up for We are the World Blogfest? If not, please consider it: it is just a link to a positive post, once a month, and we’re fine with combining it with your regular posts!We Are the World Blogfest

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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • cleemckenzie says:

    I just read about a teen who had created a bra that was an early detector of cancer. His mother suffered from breast cancer and he wanted to do something to honor her and help others. He’s just been awarded the Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) This is worthy of a read and it’s amazingly good news on many fronts.

  • Anshu Gupta nailed it when he said that it absolutely needs to be passion-driven. An initiative driven by passion is already steps ahead.
    Passion is one of the most powerful engines of success. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Nothing great was ever achieved without passion.”

    It’s also practical and sustainable; and it promotes social reform. All-in-all a wonderful solution!
    Thanks for sharing, Damyanti.
    Writer In Transit

  • Great initiative this is by Goonj. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Shilpa Gupte says:

    This is such a heart warming idea! And, the fact that they aren’t in it for any profit-making, they survive only on the funds that people donate – be it Rs 20, or 2 lakhs – goes to show their genuineness.

  • pjlazos says:

    There are so many enlightened people in India (and you seem to know all of them) who are at the forefront of a consciousness revolution. It gives me great hope for humanity. ❤️ This is a wonderful idea. Sustainability is the key.

  • I’ll be honest that I don’t know much about India but I do understand about being without funds. I think that Goonj’s founder Anshu Gupta is doing and has done some wonderful things for his fellow humans. May he and those helping continue to serve the greater good. Many thanks for sharing this story via #WATWB and for all you do.

  • all of these small deeds add up in the long run. It inspires more and more people across different countries to do the same.

  • hilarymb says:

    Hi Damyanti – that’s great to read about the Goonj Foundation and about Anshu Gupta … upcycling specific wedding items seems such a sensible request for all to contribute to. Our charities here accept clothes etc … but the need is so much greater in India … loved reading about this – all the best – Hilary

  • Nupur says:

    Loved reading your blog. This is practical solution that will help many. If weddings are to be happy, they need to be affordable.

  • Young couples (or their families) go into debt to finance these big wedding in many parts of the world – yes including the USA. Cheers to Goonj.

    Also this blog fest is a nice idea.

  • herismeorg says:

    Wonderfully creative solution! Thank you for posting this good news 🙂

  • Wonderful option. I like the word ‘upcycle’. We call it ‘rentals’ over here, but the prices have gotten crazy.

  • Goonj sounds like a perfect platform for social reform and environmental protection.Reuse ,recycle and upcycle always helps in spreading good will.My post is a little delayed .Will be up soon.

  • What a grand plan to make weddings more affordable for everyone.

  • Wedding kits! What an excellent and practical idea.

  • How wonderful! A wedding is always a most special time, and I am sure these efforts go a long way in making a bride’s dreams come true!
    #WATWB at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

  • curtisbausse says:

    A simple idea, a win-win initiative – the sort that can hopefully inspire others.

  • ericlahti says:

    Wonderful! I love to see creative recycling and reuse. There’s far too much trash out there.

  • Susan Scott says:

    What an excellent idea Damyanti, thank you for posting it! We have a similar initiative here in South Africa re wedding gear. ‘What’s trash for someone is treasure for another, and giving is not about the donor’s pride, but the receiver’s dignity’. Respect to Ansha Gupta …

  • Inderpreet says:

    Yes, this initiative of Goonj is much appreciated especially all the religious chunnis and fabrics which are usually thrown in the rivers polluting them. I too donated stuff to them especially I was moving and packing sure is the best way to declutter. 🙂

    Thank you so much! Team #WATWB

  • This is brilliant. A wonderful counterbalance to the endless profit-for-the-individual which so many people pursue (most of us included).

  • BellyBytes says:

    Oh yes This month Goonj had a drive in our area and we donated a lot of stuff. Actually they did us a favour by taking things we didn’t know what to do with! It’s hard these days to get rid of things especially since no one really seems “poor” anymore. Strange isn’t it living in India? But even beggars on the road aren’t happy with Rs. 10 and prefer a chocolate to a cup of tea!

  • Peter Nena says:

    Thank you for sharing this heartwarming story, Damyanti. Anshu Gupta is a big-hearted one. Thanks also for being part of the #WATWB.

  • What a lovely post, Damyanti. Sometimes it only takes a good heart and good idea for make such a huge difference. <3

  • what a great organization! there’s a group in CA that helps brides recycle their dresses and for other brides-to-be to buy ‘cheap’ dresses that were only worn the once.

  • I’m always amazed at the creativity some have when it comes to ingenious ideas to help others. What a wonderful organization.

  • It reaffirms the faith when there are souls like Ansh and good that India, in particular the youth are changing in adopting minimalism. The Big Fat Indian Wedding is holding us back and we should do simple things rather than taking huge loans to spend beyond our means. It would set an example if super rich adopt a sober approach.

  • What a wonderful idea. Watching the video and learning about Goonj was very inspiring and uplifting. It breaks my heart open with joy when people have BIG visions such as this – passion-driven, service-to-others – and turning them into reality.

  • This is fantastic! My husband volunteers in a few environmental groups and one just did a presentation/workshop on recycling items into usable household items but this takes it to a new level. I’ll have to share this with him! Thanks so much for sharing! #WATWB 🙂

  • What a wonderful idea! Giving everyone the opportunity to have their wedding dreams come true!

  • That’s fantastic. We have a bridal shop here like that, you can rent or buy a used dress–and they are gorgeous.

  • bikerchick57 says:

    Damyanti, this is a fantastic idea! It reminds me of the shops around here who provide used clothing to people who need it for job interviews, but don’t have enough money to buy a nice dress or suit or anything. It’s hard for me to envision people throwing these items away, let alone into a river, so happy to see Goonj creating a wonderful idea and putting it into practice.

  • simonfalk28 says:

    Damyanti, apparently there is a story coming soon to news networks in Australia about the amount of waste my country generates. To think that this initiative you have alerted us to, uses not just cash but trash, is enlightening. This is truly inspiring. Thank you ? Simon’s Still Stanza #WATWB

  • cathum says:

    What a brilliant idea, on so many levels.