19/06/2016 5:15 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST

Mahesh Savani Has Been A Father Figure To 472 Underprivileged Girls

Shutterstock / Natalia Sinjushina & Evgeniy Meyke

Mahesh Savani, a 47-year-old businessman in Surat, does not look like a father of 472 daughters.

But Naheda Banu, who lost her own father when she was a child, says that 'Mahesh papa' has been more than a dad to her.

Savani has been lauded for arranging mass weddings and acting as a father figure, even performing the kanyadaan (a ceremony in which the father of the bride hands his daughter over to the groom) of several underprivileged girls in Gujarat.

"I am proud to be the father of these girls. My brother Rajubhai and I had decided to organise a mass wedding ceremony for girls who had lost their fathers," Savani had told PTI in 2014.

Thus, every Father's Day, Savani gets hundreds of greeting cards, letters and messages from his 'daughters' from all over the country.

According to The Times of India, Savani has been supporting girls from modest backgrounds to get married since over a decade.

"It is challenging for a woman who has lost her husband to get her daughter married," he told TOI.

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