An eight-year-old girl in India who stood to inherit a multimillion-dollar diamond fortune has instead been inducted as a nun to a strict religious order after renouncing worldly pleasures.
The girl was, until this week, an heiress to the Sanghvi and Sons jewellery business in the western city of Surat, known locally as “Diamond City” for its prominence in the global gem trade.
Her family are also members of the Jain faith, a small but ancient Indian religion that preaches non-violence, strict vegetarianism and love for all creatures great and small.
This week, she was feted in a four-day ceremony to herald her new vocation, which at one point saw her ride in a carriage pulled by an elephant, according to pictures shared on local media.
On Wednesday, she arrived at a temple to trade her elaborate garments for a simple white cotton outfit, after having all her hair removed.
Jainism has more than four million followers in India. The girl was known among members of Surat’s Jain community for her piousness even as a young child,
according to a witness to Wednesday’s ceremony, who spoke to AFP news agency on condition of anonymity.
The child is one of the youngest people to have taken the “diksha” ceremony to abandon their material possessions and enter the Jain monkhood.