Life
Wealthy man spends his daughter's wedding budget by building 90 homes for the poor
The cloth and wheat tycoon celebrated his daughter’s wedding in a very non-traditional way.
Eduardo Gaskell
05.09.22

Indian weddings are elaborate and often lavish. Bride and groom wear colorful outfits, guests arrive in throngs, and it is a huge party that can last for a long time.

And marriage is a big deal for India’s super-rich. They are social statements for the wealthy. It is a symbol of strength and status between two families uniting as one.

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The middle class refuse to be left behind too. 12 million weddings take place every year, with even the middle classes rivaling the upper classes in terms of elaborate weddings.

India’s wedding industry is worth a staggering $40 billion to $50 billion.

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Traditionally, it’s the bride’s family who pays for the wedding expenses. Once a daughter is born, Indian parents begin saving up for the big day.

But while culture and tradition is often the norm, a cloth and wheat wholesaler from Aurangabad, Maharashtra, decided to do things differently.

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Ajay Munot had Rs 70-80 lakh for his daughter Shreya’s wedding.

And he used the money to help people in need.

Munot had two acres of land where he built 90 houses. The 12×20 painted homes had two windows, electricity, and filtered water. The project cost Ajay 1.5 crore, or 150 lakhs ($220,920).

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The bride and groom themselves handed over the keys to the new owners.

“I am very happy with the decision and will consider it as my marriage gift,” Shreya told The New Indian Express.

The homeowners selected had to meet specific criteria to qualify. They were poor who lived in the slums without any form of addictions.

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It was a project born of a conversation Munot had with a politician named Prakash Bamb of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The target was 108 homes, but only 90 were completed on the day of his daughter’s wedding. Munot believes the rich should perform acts of charity.

“This is the new chapter in history and I hope that the same concept will be followed by the other rich communities,” he said. “We have some responsibilities towards our society and we tried to comply with it.”

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It’s a story that happened in 2016, but Munot’s generosity continues to inspire today.

Other billionaires around the world have given to the less fortunate.

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Bill Gates himself has made around $35.8 billion worth of donations to different causes. Most of his charity work happens through The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

It is the largest private foundation in the world.

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An Indian tycoon, Azim Premji, contributed billions of dollars all for causes causes and charitable organizations both in India and around the world.

In March of 2019, Premji transferred a $7.5 billion stake in his IT outsourcing company, Wipro, to his charitable institution. It was a move which took his lifetime donations to $21 billion.

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A South African billionaire named Patrice Motsepe has given over $500 million to projects in Africa.

Projects that focus on health, farming, agrobusiness, infrastructure, and music. Motsepe also donated $250 million in 2018 to South African land reform including $100 million to education projects.

Watch the video below for more on Munot’s generosity.

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By Eduardo Gaskell
hi@sbly.com
Eduardo Gaskell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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