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Man Invites 10,000 Homeless People, Orphans, Stray Animals to His Wedding

India’s youngest single parent to adopt a child just got married, and the wedding guests included orphans, homeless people, and stray animals.

Earlier this year, Aditya Tiwari adopted a toddler suffering from Down’s syndrome and a hole in his heart after a legal battle that lasted nearly a year and a half. At 28, it made him one of India’s youngest single parents to adopt a child. Avnish, the toddler formerly named Binney, has since been living with Aditya in Pune, India.

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Aditya then married a woman named Arpita on July 16, seven months after adopting Avnish.

Indian weddings usually include guests numbering thousands, lavish spreads, and celebrations lasting several days. But Aditya wanted to celebrate his wedding with the less fortunate.

“As it is one of the happiest days of my life, I want to include people who never get any invitations like children from orphanages, homeless, and poor people," said Tiwari, according to Times of India.

Aditya and Arpita’s guestlist included 10,000 orphans and homeless people, specially abled individuals, abandoned widows and parents, and 1,000 stray animals. These unique guests shared the wedding feast along with the bride and groom’s immediate family. As wedding presents, guests received books and medicines.

The cost of this wedding? A total of INR (Indian National Rupee) 30,000, which is roughly US $450. A low-cost Indian wedding usually costs upwards of US $1,000, but Aditya has managed to spread more happiness by spending lesser and avoiding waste.

“People tend to spend lakhs of rupees on their marriage by hiring disk jockeys, on decorations, and lavish menu but I do not want to do the same,” said Tiwari, according to Hindustan Times.

This wasn’t a one-time gesture — Aditya wants to continue this way of life.

He adopted a zoo tiger, planted 100 tree saplings, and plans to set up a support group for children suffering from Down’s syndrome over the next two months. His other ambitions include building toilets for girls in tribal regions of the state of Madhya Pradesh, as well as setting up a shelter home for stray animals.

In a country where patriarchal norms have a strong hold on cultural values, male single parents are a rare find. Aditya not only serves as an example to single parents everywhere, but also as an advocate for adoption, animal welfare, sustainable spending, and the differently-abled.

As for his son, Aditya wrote about he envisions for his future:

"I want him to grow to know and witness the beauty of nature – the fluttering butterflies and buzzing bees around a bush of fragrant roses, the sound of a fresh-water stream, the whistling wind as it rushes through an army of tall trees, and the captivity of gazing at a starlit night sky. I wish for him to play with colours and to paint his life’s canvas with many bright ones. I want him to feel the healing touch of music and to know how each note brightens his mood. I wish he learns to dance, and dances like he doesn’t care about who is watching him. I want him to dream and believe and create for that is the real purpose of life. I wish for him to fly so high that he takes his thoughts farther than ever."

Read the rest of his essay here.