Though the Devadasi practice was outlawed nearly one hundred years ago, in 1924, it continues to exist in certain parts of the country due to continuous underreporting and its underground nature. The Devadasi system is the “offering” of girl children, after which they become sex workers.
The Devadasi Security Act of 1934 makes this practice unlawful in India. Although the law was strengthened in the 1980s, it is still broken on a regular basis.
As part of our project to address child exploitation in the Devadasi System, our team in Vijayapura recognized the gravity of the problem and organized a sensitization session for 40 government elected officials to encourage them to work together on a single goal of Devadasi system prevention and child protection.
We were glad to be able to meet with government officials, as true change can only occur when those in power are aware of the wrongdoings and can act on it. . We must be able to safeguard our country’s children and girls from atrocious activities like this, which the government is fully qualified to do.
With this purpose in mind, we were happy for the opportunity to speak with freshly elected government officials about how and why women are exploited, and how and why girls are subjected to prejudice, abuse, and other horrors on a daily basis.
In that spirit, we asked government authorities to bring this issue before the next assembly, which they promised to do.
Written by, Tuhina Upadhyay