Bhopal: A Jain couple from a small town in Madhya Pradesh has decided to abandon their three-year-old daughter and property, said to be worth 100 crores, to become monks under the 'Shwetambar' (white clad) order of their religion, according to their families.
Sumit Rathore and his wife Anamika, 34, both well-educated left the comforts of their cushy jobs to head towards a world of spirituality. The couple will renounce their family and seek 'Deeksha' or vow in Jain monasticism at a ceremony to be held in Surat at 5:00 pm on September 23.
Their three-year-old daughter Ibhya is left in the care of her grandparents. Anamika's father Ashok Chandaliya, a former Neemuch district president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, said, "I will take care of my granddaughter."
The Gujarat child rights panel today sought a report from civil and police administration about steps taken by a Jain couple, who are embracing monkhood on Saturday to secure their three-year-old daughter's future.
Their decision has sent shockwaves across hometown Neemuch, where their families are established in politics and business.
Currently, they have taken a vow of silence till they take 'Deeksha' (vow) next Saturday.
As per the monkhood tradition, their heads will be shaved and they will put on white robes for their entire life, as per the practice of monks and nuns of the Shwetambar sect.
The couple will start wearing mouth-clothes as per the tradition after the 'Deeksha' ceremony. The mouth cloth is worn by Jain hermits so that they do not swallow any living creature like flies etc. even by an accident while they are talking.
Sumit's father Rajendra Singh, who runs a factory manufacturing gunny bags for packaging cement, also echoed a similar view.
Sumit and Anamika decided to renounce the material world for spiritual pursuits when their daughter was just eight-month old, said Sumit's cousin Sandip Rathore.
Sumit announced his decision to take 'Deeksha' at a function attended by Acharya Ramlal at Surat last month.
"However, the pontiff asked him to seek Anamikas permission. She not only gave her consent but also expressed a desire to become a nun. Their families asked them to rethink, but the couple stood their ground," Sandip said.
He said Anamika was the first student in Neemuch district to win a gold medal in her Board examinations for class 8.
According to a family member, she did her B.E from Modi Engineering College at Laxmangarh in Sikar in Rajasthan. She had worked with Hindustan Zinc before her marriage.
Sandip said Sumit holds a diploma in import-export management from a college in London, where he worked for two years before returning to Neemuch to look after his family business.
He claimed Sumit owns properties "running into Rs 100 crore".
The Madhya Pradesh-based Jain couple had last week announced their decision to become monks under the 'Shwetambar' (white-clad) order of their religion and leave behind their daughter and renounce property 'worth Rs 100 crore'.
(With agency inputs)