The father of the bride often ends up paying quite a bit for a wedding. Indian businessman Ajay Munot prepared for the day his daughter would marry by setting money aside for the special event.
He ultimately saved up the equivalent of $11 million, a sum that could have paid for a pretty lavish ceremony. In the end, though, Munot decided to instead put that money toward a generous end. The result was a truly unique wedding gift. Rather than spend the money on caterers and flowers, Munot decided to help those most in need in his community.
He chose to build a large number of homes for the homeless. The small homes measure only 12 by 20 feet and have two windows, electricity, and access to filtered water. For the very poor new homeowners previously living in the slums, these small spaces likely seem like mansions.
Munot accumulated his significant wealth as a reseller of cloth and wheat. The savvy tycoon understands numbers and has known how to use them to his advantage.
That he was able to save such a significant amount in his wedding fund certainly speaks to that. It is unknown exactly what caused Munot to change his mind about how to use the money, but the bride and groom fully supported his decision. Munot’s daughter Sheyra said that she considered her father’s generous act a wedding gift.
She and her husband even got to experience the joy of giving firsthand, by giving out keys to the new homeowners. The smiles and gratitude they experienced were undeniably more meaningful gifts than a lavish ceremony would have been.
Munot did not spend the entirety of his savings on the housing project, so it’s likely that Sheyra and her groom still had a lovely ceremony.
He also used his business skills to secure the land and materials for a good price, spending just under $3 million on the project.
Munot’s gift changed many lives and taught his daughter and new son-in-law a beautiful lesson about giving. Munot also hopes his action can be an example to others with money.
He reminds us that “we have some responsibilities towards our society.” Rather than just spending on oneself and one’s family, Munot argues, one should think of all the people.
The response so far has been overwhelmingly positive, with people from around the world sending their appreciation to Munot on Twitter. Imagine if just a small percentage of other wealthy parents chose to spend on a charitable endeavor like Munot did rather than spend excessively on a child’s wedding.
It could truly change the world. For his part, Munot isn’t quite finished. Although only 90 homes were completed by the time of the wedding, he has plans to finish and reach his original goal of building 108 homes.
One special day for his family became a new life for over 100 families in need. For Sheyra, the anniversary of her wedding each year will also be a reminder of an incredible gift.