India’s wedding industry pioneer Shobha Shastry dies

Shobha Shastry (Photo: Jay Srinivasan)

WALTHAM, MA – Shobha Shastry, one of the first Indian-American women entrepreneurs to follow her passion for wedding decoration by serving the Indian-American and South Asian community in New England for more than two and a half decades, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday.

Ms Shastry, who received the INDIA New England News Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, died in her sleep at home. She suffered from kidney disease.

This is a breaking story and will be updated later.

Ms. Shastry was founder and CEO of Alankar Event Planners & Decorators. She had provided wedding services, decorations and mandaps in New England for about 25 years. She provided her services free of charge to charities and the needy, helping thousands of couples to marry in New England.

Known for her Gold Star service, Ms. Shastry has never failed in her unwavering commitments to her clients and her service.

On April 6, 2004, when her husband, Sharad, died suddenly, she had been invited to two weddings to provide decorations and mandaps. The following Saturday she continued her duties at both weddings and on Sunday cremated her husband’s body. Mrs Shastry did not even tell her clients that her husband had died as it would have ruined their marriages.

Ms. Shastry is also one of the first Indian-American women entrepreneurs in New England. In 1999, she co-founded Sajawat with her partner, Nina Sawe. When a few months later Ms. Sawe moved to New York, Ms. Shastry changed the name of the business to Alankar Event Planners & Decorators and carried on the torch. In 2004, when her husband passed away, she pursued her passion for business as a single mother to a daughter. She takes care of her 90-year-old father at home.

Alankar Decorators has provided wedding decorations, mandaps and event planning throughout New England. Mrs. Shastry was the creative and operational idea behind this successful venture. His passion and continued dedication to clients has made Alankar the premier go-to source for South Asian weddings in the region. Alankar was the largest decorative house in the northeast with extensive designs and mandaps.