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Friday, 27 January 2023 – A diamond heiress from India has decided to give up worldly possessions and become a nun, however, her diamond tycoon parents have faced backlash for letting her.

Devanshi, the eldest daughter of diamond merchant Danesh and his wife, Ami Sanghvi, recently gave up her material possessions to become a nun.

According to the BBC, the family practices Jainism, one of the world’s oldest religions, and it is unusual for young children to forego worldly possessions.

Devanshi was honoured during a four-day ceremony to announce her new profession, during which she rode in an elephant-drawn carriage. Then on Wednesday, Jan. 18, she took renunciation vows and was accompanied by her parents.

After having all her hair removed, she went to a temple to exchange her ornate clothing for a plain white cotton outfit. She was then moved to a monastery after the ceremony because she could no longer live with her parents.

“She can no longer stay at home, her parents are no longer her parents, she’s a Sadhvi (a nun) now. A Jain nun’s life is really austere. She will now have to walk everywhere, she can never take any kind of transport, she’ll sleep on a white sheet on the floor and cannot eat after sundown,” said family friend Kirti Shah.

Devanshi’s parents are known to be very religious and close friends said she’s been used to spiritual customs since she was a toddler. Additionally, she’s never watched television or visited public spaces such as restaurants or a mall.

Although the Jain community has supported the decision, there has been some backlash due to her age and people questioning why didn’t her parents wait until she reached adulthood to make the decision.

Mr Shah who was invited to visit the ceremony but declined to attend said: “She’s a child, what does she understand about all this? Children can’t even decide what stream to study in college until they are 16. How can they make a decision about something that will impact their entire life?”

The family was also accused of violating their daughter’s rights and said the government should’ve been involved.

“Legally 18 is the age where someone makes an independent decision. Until then a decision on her behalf is made by an adult – such as her parents – who has to consider whether it’s in her best interest.And if that decision deprives the child of education and recreation, then it is a violation of her rights,” expressed activist Professor Mehta.

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