"Since the day of the initiation, I have not lived with dignity. I became available for all the men who inhabited Karni. They would ask me for sexual favours and I, as a jogini, was expected to please them. My trauma began even when I had not attained puberty." (testimony of a 35-year-old former jogini named Ashama)

The devadasis, spread all over India, lead intolerable lives. They have been quenching the thirst of millions of upper caster Indian males lusts. Since the inception of this "deplorable" system, the joginis have been subejected to merciless subjugation and injutice.

"Many of these women were tiny girls when they became devadasis, "dedicated" to the sect by poverty-stricken parents unable to pay their future dowries and hopeful that a pleased goddess would make the next pregnancy a boy. Tradition has for centuries locked devadasis into a proscribed and highly stigmatized social role. Forbidden to marry or work outside the temple, they have spent their lives tending the shrines and decorating altars, singing and dancing, telling devotional stories and collecting coins from worshippers to support themselves and their religious work."

They continue to face discrimination and indignities on the basis of caste, remain politically powerless and suffer from acute poverty, oppression and exploitation.They run high chances of aquiring sexually transmitted diseases. Although in independent India, many steps have been taken to prevent the system and rehabilitate the devadasis, they are not enough to improve the situation as the root cause of poverty continues to push young girl to the roads of "sacred prostituion".

The Devadasi System ::: Genesis & Growth ::: The Plight ::: The Prevention ::: The Future ::: Credits ::: Contact Me

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