Eric Anton Lobo, 28, and Merlin, 27, residents of Nandakhal village in Vasai, Maharashtra, celebrated their wedding by donating 50 hospital beds and oxygen cylinders to the rural COVID-19 care centre at Satpala village on June 20.
"In a typical Christian wedding, around 2,000 guests attend and the event is incomplete without wine and good food. This costs a big packet. We decided to celebrate differently," Hindustan Times quoted Lobo as saying.
The 22 guests attended their wedding donning face masks and maintaining social distancing.
"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, scores of people are dying and in Vasai-Virar. In the Palghar district, around 90 people have died and more than 1,500 have tested positive, so we decided to contribute our bit," said Lobo.
"We wanted to share our joy with our fellow Vasai residents by helping provide better care for patients in hospitals," he added.
Under the guidance of local MLA Kshitij Thakur, whom the couple had approached earlier in March, they went to Dr Kailas Shinde, Palghar district collector with their idea who approved the special project.
"We then approached a Vasai fabricator to design the hospital beds as per government health department specifications and also contacted various linen dealers to give us a good deal for mattresses, blankets, pillows, bedsheets, and other allied materials," said Lobo.
"We also decided to provide oxygen cylinders as and when health department officials need them to treat Covid patients," he added.
Following the marriage ceremony, which was done with Thakur in attendance, the couple went to the COVID care centre where the beds had already arrived. Dressed in their wedding attire the couple conducted a small inauguration there.
Active members of the local community kitchen the couple also helped the government by providing lists of the migrant wokers from Vasai-Virar who wanted to return home onboard the Shramik special trains.
"Eric and Merlin have set an example for the society and I congratulate them for their noble deed," said Thakur.
"Good Samaritans like these will help us battle the Covid pandemic and come out of it quickly. Residents of Vasai-Virar have always been supportive of their society, and I am optimistic that more people will come forward to do their bit in the coming days," he added.
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