Akola, Maharashtra: A toilet stole the show at a traditional Maharashtrian marriage in Akola.
The prefabricated toilet with a water closet, a wash-basin and mirror standing around one foot above the ground, was the wedding gift from the bride's parents since the groom's family did not have one in their home.
Few weeks ago, Chaitali D Galakhe, a resident of Maharashtra's Akola, was alarmed to discover that her in-laws' house did not have a toilet.
"At the time of finalising the marriage, I had no idea, but later I found that my in-laws' home had no toilet. I discussed the issue with my parents and sisters in detail," Chaitali told mediapersons after her unique wedding present was unveiled before the guests on Friday evening.
Chaitali, the daughter of a farmer, had just one demand. "I am not interested in a television, refrigerator or a washing machine or gold jewellery as a wedding gift... I only want a readymade toilet which I can carry to my in-laws' home," she told her family.
Initially, her father found the demand ridiculous but later he was convinced. The family decided to "make her happy" by fulfilling her wish before her marriage.
A pre-fabricated toilet was ordered from a local manufacturer and cost Rs 18,000 - around the cost of a medium TV, fridge or wash machine.
A local volunteer for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan decided to chip in. "I have built it and given it to the family for only Rs 12,000 - only recovering the actual costs," he told reporters.
Despite the Galakhes' apprehensions of facing ridicule from villagers and scorn from the groom's side, the 'toilet gift' turned out to be the most admired present at the wedding.
Many girls who attended the marriage ceremonies from both sides said they were "hugely inspired" by Chaitali's courage in making the demand.
"Several of us are planning to get married soon and we shall enquire whether the boy's side has proper toilet facilities... If not, then this idea will help us," said a girl.