Terre des Hommes logo
DonateFight with us

Fight with us

Become a donorAs a partnerDonate your goods

“A daughter of a Devadasi can achieve something”

August 17th, 2023

Amrita, a teenage girl, belongs to a socio-economically disadvantaged Devadasi community in North Karnataka, India, where young girls and women are dedicated to a life of sex work as part of a societal norm. When her mother contracted HIV, Amrita had to drop out of school as the both of them had no means of livelihood. Being an ostracised community only made it worse. Today, the same Amrita is a secondary school graduate and is championing the cause of Devadasi girls in her village.

"Wanneer mensen ontdekken dat je een kind van een Devadasi-vrouw bent, word je al gauw gepest.” 
"Wanneer mensen ontdekken dat je een kind van een Devadasi-vrouw bent, word je al gauw gepest.” 

Root Cause

The Devadasi System is an institutionalised exploitation of young girls which finds its roots in a harmful socio-cultural tradition. In socio-economically disadvantaged families, young girls are forcefully dedicated as sex workers. It is considered their role in society finding its roots in a caste based discrimination. Under this system, generations of women from the same families are subjected to violence, sexual exploitation, discrimination and poverty.

Systemic Change

At Terre des Hommes, we work to change the mindset of the community towards the system, and empower its victims. We organise children into clubs where they are taught their rights and entitlements. Young girls also undergo life skills training to build their self esteem, confidence and resilience. The children are further facilitated to advocate for their concerns both at the community and the government level.

Amrita was introduced to a children’s club where she realised that her rights as a child were being violated. She along with other members of the club, rose their voice against injustice meted out to Devadasis. They even helped stop a child’s forceful dedication. Amrita was also readmitted to school and enrolled in a vocational training programme. 


Amrita is happy where she is. She wants to work, be independent and stand on her own feet. 

“I now have the confidence which I did not have before. I know that I am just like any other child and have access to all entitlements. Our community’s children do not deserve to go through exploitation. I will do my best to spread awareness and ensure that my community is protected”, said Amrita. 

More about Project Children GOOD
Our missionWhat we doWhere we workSearch
DonateFight with us