MADIKERI: In elite and privileged families, weddings are by and large extravagant affairs. And widely, more emphasis is given to bridal attire. However, the extravagant bridal dresses are an unaffordable luxury to brides from economically backward families. However, helping such brides is the Rainbow Free Bridal Boutique in Kodagu.
Shaharabanu, is a 20-year-old resident of Chettalli in Madikeri taluk. She shared that she always looked forward to doing charity work, but was faced with financial strain. However, when a friend of hers in Kerala started a boutique and provided free dresses to brides from the weaker sections of society, who cannot afford to pay for costly bridal attires, it served as an inspiration for her.
“A friend of mine started a boutique in Kerala and the unit provided free dresses to the brides from weaker sections of the society. I picked up on the idea and established Rainbow Free Bridal Boutique – a first of its kind in the state,” explained Shaharabanu.
Promoting her firm through her YouTube channel and through other social media platforms, Shaharabanu approached women from well-to-do families. She requested these women to donate their wedding dresses/sarees – which they had used only on the occasion of their wedding. The wedding clothes were collected and put to dry clean before being offered to the brides who seek bridal attires.
“I have collected many wedding clothes – some even from my family members. These clothes will be handed over to the brides from weaker sections of the societies – including many orphaned girls who are unable to afford wedding clothes,” Shaharabanu explained.
To ensure that her work is not misused, she asks the beneficiary girls to submit a letter from the concerned religious committees about their financial hardships. “It has been just 15 days since I started the boutique," she says.
There is no bar on the religion or community of the brides. The brides-to-be can book the service and they can visit my place in Chettalli and select the dresses they want from the set of clothes available. They can keep these clothes for themselves and this service can be availed by any bride (from economically weaker section) from across the state,” she added.
She confirmed that over 40 brides have already booked for the service and they are likely to select the clothes nearly 20 days before their wedding day.