Everyone dreams of a great wedding celebration! This young couple’s dream was different from what everyone generally does with their wedding gifts. While others decorate their homes with the gifts or use the gift money to buy what they need, this inspiring couple created a ‘social impact fund’ with it.
Sahil Aggarwal and Soumya Garg from Delhi have left a great example of how to use sagan money (gift money given on weddings) to create memories that last for the whole life and that not only makes one’s life better but that shares fortune and wealth with those in need.
Sahil Aggarwal and Soumya Garg wanted to create memories that focus on bringing smiles in other people’s lives.
The couple whose marriage was performed this year in February collected a good amount of money as sagan as they had told their friends and relatives to give them only money and had discouraged them from gifting articles. The couple had decided to raise a fund that could be utilized for the greater purpose.
Both of them had a huge number of friends and relatives who were inspired by their thoughts and gifted them only money. This way the fund that got collected was about rupees 10 lakh.
‘We received generous blessings on our wedding. In addition to some beautiful gifts, we received sagan (money gifted on an occasion in Indian tradition) of around 10 lacs. We have decided to use the sagan to invest in impactful ideas. We will award 5 to 10 ideas with an investment between 1 and 2 lacs in each. This will be in the form of grants, equity, or pay-it-forward loans,’ the couple wrote on their website that’s created to invite ideas from people. ‘It is kind of a competition where applicants have to fill a form first and then a few shortlisted candidates will have to appear for an interview,’ said Sahil.
Their website went live soon after their marriage and since then it has attracted many positive ideas. According to Better India, some people are seeking support for installing R.O. purifiers in government schools, while someone else is looking for a grant to start an online portal to address psychological problems.
Sahil and Somya have created a four-point checklist to evaluate the ideas they have received. These are – If it advances a social cause, if it promotes local economy and culture or if solves an issue on a local level or it can be a creative idea of a documentary project finding difficult to raise finances.
The newlyweds met several months ago at work and shared interests in public policy.
An IIT-Delhi alumnus, Sahil and Soumya are leading executives of Vision India Foundation. The two are always enthusiastic about social work and are planning for much more.
‘This is just the beginning. We have only decided to set up the fund and it feels so great already. It feels like finally, we’ll be able to make some difference. I cannot wait for what is to come next. I am sure being actually involved with people doing some good work and supporting them will feel a thousand times better than what I am feeling right now,’ Soumya smiling told Better India.