While Sumit Rathore (35), a businessman, was ordained in the Shwetambar (white-clad) order of Jainism at a ceremony in Surat on September 23, his wife Anamika (34) embraced monkhood yesterday after submitting an affidavit, as asked by the authorities, stating their three-year-old daughter Ibhya would remain with her maternal grandparents.
Sumit and Anamika, who hail from Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh, were granted “deeksha” by Sadhumargi Jain Acharya Ramlal Maharaj.
However, the couple’s journey to monkhood was not without hiccups, especially over the future of Ibhya.
A Neemuch-based activist had sought the intervention of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to stop the initiation ceremony in the interest of the minor daughter of the couple.
A day before Sumit became monk, the Gujarat State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (GSCPCR) had sought a report from the civil and police administration about the steps taken by the couple to secure the future of Ibhya, who will now have no relation with her parents as monks are not allowed to keep family ties and have to sever all forms of worldly attachments.
The GSCPCR forwarded the matter to the Surat Police, who then approached the couple and their relatives to check on the steps taken by them to secure their daughter’s future, Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma said today. “The matter was referred to us after someone filed a petition with the child rights panel about the guardianship of the couple’s daughter. The couple submitted an affidavit that they have taken ample steps to secure her future,” he said.
As per the affidavit, Ibhya will be looked after by Anamika’s parents.
The police commissioner said a relative is also learnt to have expressed readiness to adopt the child. Sharma said police will submit its report to the commission (GSCPCR) soon.
Sumit had worked in London before managing his family business in Neemuch, while his engineer wife Anamika was earlier employed with a mining major.
His cousin Sandip Rathore had claimed that before deciding to adopt a life of asceticism Sumit owned property worth Rs 100 crore.