Nassar’s dress bank brightens bridal hopes

By Abdul Latheef Naha

Nassar Thootha’s dress bank is getting replenished much faster than he expected.

A unique charity scheme based at Thootha on the Malappuram-Palakkad border offering free wedding dresses for the marriage of the needy is becoming a talk of the town. It is called Nassar’s dress bank.

A former Non-Resident Indian (NRI), Mr. Nassar now dedicates a part of his time and resources for the dress bank. He collects wedding dresses from the those are ready to donate, gets them dry-cleaned, and stores them neatly in a shop that he has rented at Thootha.

The dresses are displayed as though they are in a textile shop. Those who can’t afford wedding dresses can approach Nassar’s dress bank and take any item of their choice for free. “And they don’t have to return it,” said Mr. Nassar.

Good response

People from different parts of South India are approaching Mr. Nassar, both for donating their wedding dresses, and for borrowing dresses as well.

“It came as a surprise to me when I learnt that most women in our areas seldom use their wedding dress after wearing it for a few hours during the function. They keep the expensive dresses just for the sake of memory. When I asked them to donate their wedding dresses, the response I got was tremendous,” said Mr. Nassar.

On learning about his unique venture, hundreds came forward to donate their wedding dress. He now has more than 1,000 dresses in his bank. They include saris, frocks, churidars, suits, and Sherwanis. They cost anywhere between ₹5,000 and ₹50,000. “They don’t look like second-hand,” he said.

Keep or return

Those who take the bride’s or the groom’s dress from Nassar’s bank have the freedom to keep it or return it after their big day. However, most people prefer to keep it. “For the needy, these dresses may be so dear that they would wear them again on other occasions,” said Mr. Nassar.

He never reveals the identity of the people who collect the wedding dress from his bank. His shop is a little distance away from Thootha bazaar in order to provide privacy for those who come in search of him.

“Everyone has self-esteem. Just because they can’t afford a wedding dress, their plight need not be exposed in society,” said Mr. Nassar.

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