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The Hindu
The Hindu

Anant Ambani, Radhika Merchant's pre-wedding celebrations begin with 'anna seva'

The pre-wedding festivities of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani's youngest son Anant Ambani, who is set to tie the knot with industrialist Viren Merchant's daughter, Radhika Merchant, have started with 'anna seva'.

At Jogwad village near Reliance Township in Jamnagar, Mukesh Ambani, Anant Ambani and other members of the Ambani family, including Radhika Merchant, served traditional Gujarati food to the villagers. Radhika's maternal grandmother and parents - Viren and Shaila Merchant - also took part in the 'anna seva'. Food will be served to about 51,000 local residents, which will continue for the next few days.

The Ambani family has organised 'anna seva' to seek the blessings of the local community for the pre-wedding celebrations of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant.

After the meal, the attendees enjoyed traditional folk music. Famous Gujarati singer Kirtidan Gadhvi stole the show with his singing.Sharing food is an old tradition in the Ambani family. The Ambani family has been serving food on auspicious family occasions. When the country was grappling with coronavirus pandemic, Reliance Foundation, under the leadership of Anant Ambani's mother Nita Ambani, ran a large food distribution programme. Taking forward the family tradition, Anant Ambani has started his pre-wedding functions with anna seva.The pre-wedding functions are expected to be traditional and grand. Guests will get to experience the beauty of Indian culture at the pre-wedding festivities.

The guests at the occasion will receive traditional scarves made by women artisans from Kachchh and Lalpur in Gujarat.

Reliance Foundation Director Anant Ambani with his fiance Radhika Merchant distribute traditional Gujarati food to villagers during ‘Anna Seva’ as part of their pre-wedding function, at the Jogwad village near Reliance Township in Jamnagar on Wednesday, February 28, 2024. (Source: ANI)

Global leaders invited

Qatar Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, Queen of Bhutan Jetsun Pema, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, and Saudi Aramco Chairperson Yasir Al Rumayyan are among those invited for the celebrations scheduled between March 1-3.

The guest list also includes former Prime Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper, President of Google Donald Harrison, former President of Bolivia President Jorge Quiroga, former Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd and Chairperson World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab. Celebrities like Rihanna, Bollywood film stars such as Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan, Bill Gates, Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg, fellow Indian billionaires Gautam Adani and Kumar Mangalam Birla, as well as many cricketers are also expected to attend the event.

Recently, Reliance Foundation posted a video on their Instagram handle in which women from Gujarat can be seen curating Bandhani scarves for the wedding functions of Anant and Radhika.In the clip, one can also see Nita Ambani, the founder and chairperson of Reliance Foundation, meeting the artisans and expressing her happiness for their hard work.

"These women pour their hearts and souls into the craft, preserving age-old techniques and breathing life into stories as ancient as the land itself. Swadesh is empowering communities and preserving age-old craftsmanship," Reliance Foundation captioned the post.Ushering in the much-awaited wedding, the Ambani family has also facilitated the construction of new temples within a sprawling temple complex in Jamnagar, Gujarat.

Spiritual identity

Featuring intricately carved pillars, sculptures of Gods and Goddesses, fresco-style paintings, and architecture inspired by generations of artistic heritage, the temple complex keeps India's rich cultural and spiritual identity at the heart of the wedding festivities.

Brought to life by master sculptors, the temple art employs age-old techniques and traditions. The initiative highlights the incredible skills of local artisans, reflecting Nita Ambani's vision of preserving and promoting Indian heritage, tradition and culture.

Anant and Radhika got engaged in a traditional ceremony in January 2023 at the family's residence Antilia in Mumbai. Isha Ambani, Akash Ambani and Anant Ambani, the three children of Mukesh-Nita Ambani, have been closely involved with and are leading and managing key businesses of RIL over the last few years including retail, digital services and energy and materials businesses. They also serve on the boards of the key subsidiaries of Reliance Industries.While Isha M. Ambani has been driving the expansion of Reliance Retail, Akash M. Ambani is serving as the Chairman of Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) since June 2022 and Anant M Ambani is driving the expansion of energy and materials businesses of Reliance Industries.Isha and Akash got married in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Anant Ambani is also involved with several compassionate initiatives to rehabilitate at-risk animals and provide them care and dignity in their residual life.

Reliance Industries and Reliance Foundation this Monday launched Vantara, a paradigm-shifting initiative for animal welfare in the heart of Gujarat's green belt. Vantara (Star of the Forest), an ambitious programme is dedicated to the rescue, treatment, care, and rehabilitation of animals in need.

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