Come winters, the wedding industry becomes the one with the maximum profit and input of money. . The culminated cost of the wedding markets accounts at a staggering approximation of over a 100 crore rupees a year. The turnover can never be estimated at a real time level because of the large amounts of cash transactions that take place. This can also be because of the large amounts of black money available with the businessmen. According to a survey there are around 200 high-end weddings that take place each year in India. These weddings cost the families anywhere between 10-20 crores on an average. These weddings are generally lavish affairs spread across a few days which include multi-cuisine extravaganzas, exquisite spread and dance performance by top bollywood celebrities.
Indian weddings have always been the point of discussion among various strata of society because of the pompous display of wealth that is seen during these days. Starting from the engagement ceremony, which may take place in any of the 5 star heritage resorts, to the wedding ceremony, which generally happens in any one of the top 5 star properties in India, the whole process sees a multitude of vendors gaining millions of dollars in the process.
Among the cacophony of celebration, the concoctions of emotions that fill the air the primary ones include happiness, , gratitude, joy, sadness (of giving the daughter away) one important aspect of a human’s existence is forgotten; the environment. These weddings see kilos of food being wasted, liters of water being flushed down the drain and most importantly an increased contribution to the local air pollutants. The amount of crackers being burst during this time is comparable to the festival of Diwali, not to mention the diesel generators often accompanying the “baraat”, combined together form a deadly blend of noise and sound pollution. The wedding organizers pacify their conscience by offering food to the “poor” and hungry. However, the cost of this act of feeding the needy comes nowhere near the cost of the amount of food that is wasted during these affairs.
India, is taking a strong stand on the issues of industrial sustainability and CSR. We have strong views on the depictions of smoking and alcohol consumption in our movies. We have strong views on animal rights and their depictions in TV Commercials. However when it comes to our weddings, we tend to look the other way as it is a “celebration” of a union. There are laws in this country which can check the unsustainable nature of the weddings, but then, who would want to be a roadblock in the path of someone else’s happiness. Such is the sad state of affairs…that we in order to ensure our big fat weddings are ready to turn a blind eye to our mother nature…
By – Vipin Vijayan
Senior Programme Manager – Concept Development