While we have been clapping and lighting lamps to show our appreciation and support for the frontline workers, fashion designer Sonaakshi Raaj Merani is also doing her bit by donating wedding dresses to nurses and midwives who are engaged to be married.
Taking forward the noble initiative that started in Spain, Merani’s Dress the Warriors initiative in India will be identifying affianced nurses and midwives across the nation and will be donating custom made lehengas from her The Warrior Collection.
The designer has a wide range of couture and bridal dresses that she has kept for the nurses and doctors. With a total of nine major COVID-19 hospitals in the country, she will be donating one for each hospital, making for around 10 outfits.
“I always wanted to do something for my country and especially in such testing times, so I thought of executing this idea for my country and doing my bit. And having recently gotten married I know how it feels to be one. That is how the idea came into being and I decided to take it forward,” she shares.
As she read about actors donating money to help those in need, Merani wanted to do something in her own way to help. Her research led her to the NGO I Love Mumbai Foundation that would help her identify the engaged nurses and midwives.
“That will happen when the pandemic reduces and whenever they are ready. They are free to come and browse through the collection and pick an outfit of their choice,” she smiles, adding, “I have always looked up to all the doctors and nurses who have been the actual warriors and battling the unseen enemy on the frontline so I thought why not honour them.”
The designer has received support from Mumbai’s Mayor Kishori Pednekar and Maharashtra’s tourism and environment minister Aditya Thackery as well.
Hailing it as a spectacular step towards helping the frontline workers monetarily than just claps, Mayor Pednekar is all praises for Merani.
Pednekar who herself comes from a lower socio-economic background and has also been on the field treating COVID patients, understands the challenges of nurses.
“Even now, our nurses are from the economically weaker sections and they can’t afford a wedding dress as it will cost way more than the wedding itself. And we get married only once, so it is a great initiate of helping these nurses,” she smiles.
Pednekar is also of the opinion that not just the nurses, but the ward boys and the policemen working on the frontline require more than just clapping and lamp lighting.
“While this is for sure appreciating and celebrating their contribution, what they need the most is monetary help and that too with respect,” she says before signing off....