Manoj Munot from India gifted 90 houses for homeless people in his community instead of throwing a extravagant wedding for his daughter. The man is a business owner in Aurangabad of Maharashtra, India. This example shows that there are still people in this world who realize the importance of generosity and compassion over their own self-interest.
Munot had planned to spend Rs 70-80 lakh (approximately $105k-$120k) on the wedding. Instead, inspired by a young politician Prashant Bamb, the businessman decided to spend the money on the construction of 90 houses outfitted with water and electricity. This became Munot’s wedding gift to his daughter Shreya.
In India, wedding costs can be quite excessive, especially for some of the higher castes. For example, former Indian People’s Party minister Gali Janardhan Reddy married his daughter off in a Rs 500-crore wedding. In other words, he spent an equivalent to over 100 million USD on the wedding.
Wedding costs for an average Indian middle-class family start at about 20,000 USD. This excludes expenses such as the dowry. In the U.S. a middle-class Indian family is likely to spend upwards of $60,000 on a wedding. Luckily, dozens of families in Aurangabad now benefit from a man’s realization that such a hefty sum can be better spent.
Dire Need for More Houses for Homeless
The lack of affordable housing is the primary cause of homelessness in India. Estimates for homeless Indians range from 1.77 million to 3 million. Additionally, there are millions more families affected by the housing shortage and living in dilapidated, obsolescent or makeshift housing. The total of Indian people unable to maintain a regular safe shelter amounts to 78 million people.
Worldwide estimates for people who lack an adequate home or are literally homeless reach one billion. Maybe Munot’s gift of 90 houses doesn’t seem like much when looking at the global homelessness problem, but perhaps others will take notice and follow suit.
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