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Children Empowerment for Getting Out of the Devadasi System

In lower caste Devadasi communities from North Karnataka, post pubertal girls are dedicated to a life of sex work as part of a societal practice. We fight for the rights of these girls and enrol them in schools. We provide them opportunities for alternative means of livelihood and train them to speak up against injustice. Join us!

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Background

The Devadasi System in lower caste communities exploits young girls and women in the name of tradition. After a ceremony, they are deemed to a life of sex work. The children and young girls from the community are isolated, face stigma, and drop out from school. Due to lack of vocational skills, education, and alternate livelihood opportunities, they are highly vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence. Generations of women in the same family undergo these challenges. Hence, they remain socio-economically downtrodden.

Ponpandian Thangam

Country manager India

“Children of Devadasis are a very vulnerable group who are exploited on the basis of a harmful tradition. We work to ensure that they lead a life filled with dignity and possibilities”

Approach

We group children into clubs and train them on child rights, protection laws and life skills. We enroll the girls in school and provide academic support. We train them in job oriented vocational skills. We sensitise communities, temple priests and other agencies who influence the childrens’ lives. We also create platforms for the children to advocate for their rights with the government.

Download the 'Tales of girlpower'

Results

In 2021, we reached out to 4114 children of which 2625 accessed formal education. 225 girls were given job skills training and 75 women invested in small businesses. 28 girls were rescued from either being dedicated as a Devadasi or being married as a child. 2764 girls were grouped into Children’s Clubs. 380 girls were trained as leaders and they helped solve community problems in the village such as sanitation, hygiene and access to infrastructure.

Partners

Children of India Foundation (CIF)

SNEHA

AMMA Foundation

SEVAK

Chaitanya Mahila Sangha

Muktha Network

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