DEHRADUN: Anant Ambani, son of the chairman of Reliance group Mukesh Ambani, has donated Rs 5 Crore to Uttarakhand Char Dham Devsthanam Management Board which manages the four revered shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri and other 51 temples.
Ravinath Raman, chief executive officer of the board, who also happens to be commissioner of Garhwal division of Uttarakhand, said, "We express our humble gratitude to the family for such generous donation. The money will be used for the betterment of infrastructure and facilities for pilgrims."
The officials from the board said the amount was donated by Ambani after they approached his family for financial help.
BD Singh, the additional CEO of the board, said, "Everyone knows the family's devotion and we are thankful from the bottom of our hearts for such a gesture. Anant ji has been a devotee and visits Badrinath and Kedarnath shrines regularly with his family. In these troubled times, this means a lot. My wishes and prayers for the family and everyone else who is generous enough to donate for the Char Dham."
Last year too the family had donated Rs 2 Crore.
In March 2019, Anant, who was appointed as a member of the Shri Badarinath Shri Kedarnath Mandir Committee, is said to be a regular visitor to the Badrinath and Kedarnath temples with his family.
In the year 2018, Mukesh Ambani visited the Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines to offer the wedding card of his daughter, Isha Ambani, to the deities. According to the reports, he is said to have offered the wedding card to Baba Kedar and Rs 51 lakh to temple funds.
The officials from the board told that they have been also trying to get approval from the Center under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 for donations from abroad.
"We have been reaching out for donations as the devotees of Baba Kedar, Lord Badrinath, and other Gods, Goddesses are across the world who want to make donations. We are trying to get the approval from the center and hope to get it soon," added the CEO.
Last year, record more than 38 lakh pilgrims travelled to the four shrines of the hill state.
Stopped after a nationwide lockdown starting in March this year, the Char Dham Yatra was allowed only from June 2020 followed by a number of relaxations in a phased manner.
The financial condition of the religious institutions of Uttarakhand is said to be in a tizzy due to the adverse effect on religious tourism give the Covid-19 epidemic.