MUMBAI: After dating for eight years, Eric Lobo, 28, and Merlin Tuscano, 27, decided early this year they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. They decided on a winter wedding with a guest list of 2,000. Then the pandemic struck and things changed.
On Saturday, the couple exchanged vows in a simple ceremony with 22 guests, including family members, at the St Gonsalo Garcia church at Vasai. Instead of proceeding for a reception, the couple headed to the Satpala isolation centre where they donated 50 beds with mattresses and pillows and oxygen cylinders.

“With the pandemic raging, a covid care centre is the need of the hour. We are glad the money saved from our wedding has been put to good use,” said Eric. The couple, who are partners in an event management company, pared down expenses to bare minimum. They decided to skip all the pre-wedding functions. The couple did not accept gifts and Merlin’s wedding gown, too, was taken on rent.
Scaling down their wedding plans came naturally to the couple who has been at the forefront of voluntary work as soon as the pandemic struck.
“From community kitchens to arranging trains for migrants, we pitched in wherever we could. When it came to making a personal contribution, a proper Covid centre for rural Vasai seemed the best decision,” said Merlin.
For now there is no honeymoon either. The couple is busy overseeing work at the centre, which likely to open soon. Local MLA Kshitij Thakur has issued a letter of appreciation to the couple.



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