The busy Yellamma temple at Balkampet here had a surprise visitor on Thursday. Chairperson of Reliance Foundation, Nita Ambani walked into the temple with a few family members and friends in tow to ceremonial drumbeats and Nadaswaram played in her honour way past the time for darshan. As curious devotees tried to decide which celebrity it could be, others were jubiliant to catch a glimpse of the chairperson of Reliance Foundation and followed her around.
Nita Ambani was in the city to visit Aashray Foundation, an NGO which works to rescue and rehabilitate the children of ‘Joginis’ in the state. The system of dedicating a young girl to the temple continues to be social practice especially among the dalits in rural districts of Telangana region. The Yellamma temple is home to many Joginis as well.
A large number of devotees settled around the temple premises finding it open after 1 pm and were greeted by a frenzy of cameras, women carrying Bonalu and droves of priests who looked forward to guide Nita Ambani during her darshan.
Some of the temple workers offered booklets on the deity to the visitors and was overheard as saying that it could garner good donations for the upkeep of the temple.
Emerging from the sanctum-sanctorum, Nita Ambani said that she felt blessed on her visit to the temple.
“Every girl has the right to pursue a career of her choice and she should,’’ she said after meeting two rehabilitated girls from Aashray Foundation. She interacted with the girls in the process of filming a documentary about the head of the NGO, Nirmala Grace.