Until last week, 155 women from different parts of Kerala have worn the wedding attire of the Nasar Dress Bank in the town of Thootha on the Malappuram-Palakkad border.
A 44-year-old man living in a remote village called Thootha on the Malappuram-Palakkad border in Kerala is following a new model of charity: Dress Bank. Like concepts like food banks and book banks, Nasar Thootha offers clothing as part of its Dress Bank initiative. However, it is not ordinary clothes, but wedding outfits for women from poor families, which are offered free of charge.
Through Dress Bank, Nasar provides once-used wedding dresses donated by people from different parts of the state to brides from poor families in different parts of Kerala and neighboring Karnataka state. So far, 155 women from different parts of Kerala have worn wedding dress from the Dress Bank, Nasar said.
A year and a half ago, Nasar, a returnee from Saudi Arabia, introduced this idea to help wives from low-income families in Kerala. “After my return from Saudi Arabia, I got involved in the rehabilitation of the homeless by providing them with shelter. During this period, I was also able to establish close relationships with many families in the area and noticed that many parents had difficulty in arranging wedding dresses for their daughters, which are usually expensive ”, said Nasar, from Thootha near Perinthalmanna in Malappuram.
With the support of his friends, Nasar started the Dress Bank on a trial basis in April 2020. He kicked off the initiative in a room in his house near Thootha, with a set of 100 donated wedding outfits. “It was my family, including my wife, four children and my sister, who supported me and helped manage the initiative at home early on,” he said.
Using WhatsApp and Facebook, Nasar circulated posters asking people to donate their wedding dresses to Dress Bank. “The campaign was successful as many people from different parts of the state expressed interest in donating their wedding outfits. We managed to collect the dresses from different places through different charities and our friends. After dry cleaning these outfits, we started distributing the dresses to poor families in neighboring areas when needed, ”Nasar said.
Nasar recently moved the Dress Bank to a rented building in the town of Thootha, located on the border of Malappuram and Palakkad district.
“Any parent can contact me directly if they want a wedding dress for their daughter. We have over 600 varieties of wedding dresses now. The outfits originally cost Rs 3,000 to Rs 60,000, “he told TNM.
“The bride and the woman’s parents can directly visit the dress bank and select the dress item they need regardless of the cost of the item. We never ask them to return the dress after they are used.” he said, adding that the store has dresses for all wedding customs of different religions and castes.
PT Noushad Ali, President of Aliparamba Grama Panchayat, where the Dress Bank is located, said: “Initially, the project was beneficial to families in our panchayat and neighboring panchayats in Malappuram and Palakkad districts. Now many families from different parts of the state are coming to pick up these dresses, ”he said, hailing Dress Bank as a successful charity model.
Perinthalmanna MP Najeeb Kanthapuram, who visited the clothing bank in Thootha on Monday, September 13, said Nasar’s charitable initiative is beneficial to more than 150 families across the state and a blessing to many families who have a hard time meeting the expense of the wedding function. . “We usually wear our wedding dress once in our lifetime. If we donate it, it will be a great support for a woman from a poor family, ”said the deputy.