Anant Ambani, son of the Reliance Industries' chairman Mukesh Ambani and additional director on the board of Jio Platforms, donated Rs 5 crore to the Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Board to help it cover the financial losses suffered due to COVID-19 induced nationwide lockdown. The Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Board manages four revered shrines- Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri and other 51 temples.
The donation was made on the suggestion of the board's additional CEO BD Singh. Singh had requested the Ambanis extend a helping hand to the board for paying employee salaries, betterment of infrastructure and enhancing facilities for pilgrims. Commissioner of Garhwal Division, Uttarakhand and the CEO of the board, Ravinath Raman, Uttarakhand, expressed his gratitude to the family for the donation.
Put on hold due to coronavirus lockdown this year, the Char Dham Yatra was allowed to resume only in June in a phased manner. The finances of religious institutions in Uttarakhand have been in a tizzy due to the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on religious tourism.
Anant, the youngest heir to the Ambani conglomerate, became a part of the Shri Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee after the Uttarakhand government approached the family for participation in March 2019. The family had donated Rs 2 crore last year as well. Even before being a part of the Shri Badrinath-Kedarnath committee, Mukesh Ambani visited the shrines in 2018 to offer the wedding card of his daughter, Isha Ambani, to the deities. He also reportedly offered Rs 51 lakh to the temple funds at the time.
(Edited by Mehak Agarwal with agency inputs)
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