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Thilak and Dhana who married in 2012 had a wedding that was different and also made a difference writes Bhavana Nissima on

Thilak and Dhana have been friends for years, and share a passion for social work and children’s causes. On their wedding, the following happened:

  1. The wedding reception was a fundraiser for an education fund for underprivileged children. No box gifts were allowed; only donations to the fund
  2. The children from 8 homes in Chennai were invited to the wedding reception. They joined in the celebration just as the rest of us
  3. The bride did not wear any silk clothes or expensive ornaments and the wedding followed a much-researched simple ritual attended by close relatives

Thilak and Dhana waited almost 2 years to convince their family about their plan.

A little baby girl called Theresa played cupid in this couple’s life. Theresa was a non-affected six-month old girl abandoned by her teen-aged HIV+ve mother. She first triggered motherly love in Dhana’s heart. Then Dhana proposed to Thilak so that she could adopt the baby. Unfortunately, Dhana could not convince her folks in time and Theresa was adopted by another set of loving parents. But the wedding fundraiser in June was in the name of Theresa Educational Fund commemorating the love that brought these two beautiful individuals together.

Thilak had dedicated his life to the welfare of the underprivileged children. He is the co-founder of Sevai Karangal along with Nandan, which monitors and supports eight Children’s homes in the city of Chennai. The organization works with a difference: They don’t just donate. Rather, they ensure people engage with the homes and the children.

Besides engagement and funding, the organization has set-up a mentorship project called Navigator, akin to the Big Brother Big Sister program in United States and workshops to improve creative skills in the children.

Thilak shuffles his time between work and passion so that he can sustain himself as well as provide for his passion. Dhana is not a rich girl either. She is rich in her heart.

As these two ordinary citizens of our country took those seven steps to bind themselves in matrimony, they did more than that – they set an example for others to follow, they gave meaning to the structure called marriage, they brought hope in the lives of so many children, they brought faith back to cynical hearts.


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