A Regional Consultation was held on the condition of devdasis in India on 23rd February, 2015 at Hyderabad in collaboration with State Women’s Commissions (Andhra Pradesh and Telengana).
The tradition of marrying a woman to a deity – which initially started out as a religious practice of a woman devotee willingly tying herself to God and His temple, and taking upon the responsibility of a caretaker of sorts, has degenerated into a heinous practice wherein the ‘Joginie/Devdasi’, as she is called, is forced into prostitution to serve the local village elders of the higher castes.
ncw-cells/legal-cell/new-bills-laws-proposed/new-bills-law-proposed The Karnataka Devadasis (Prohibition of Dedication) Act 1982, The Andhra Pradesh Devadasis (Prohibition of Dedication) Act, 1988, The Andhra Pradesh (Andhra Area) Devadasis (Prohibition of Dedication) Act, 1947 and The Maharashtra Devadasi Protection and Rehabilitation Act 2005 are available on the subject. The tradition is still very much prevalent in states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Orissa and Maharashtra etc.
The National Commission for Women has also taken initiatives to end the “Devadasi System” predominantly present in Southern States of India. Details of the same are given on Annexure-III. The recommendations and the Report of the Consultation were sent to Ministry of Women & Child Development and Ministry of Home Affairs for further necessary action.