Mahbubnagar: With an aim to eradicate the prevailing social evil of Jogini system, the Mahbubnagar district police have embarked on a novel programme by providing alternate livelihood sources to Joginis and the kin of deceased members of the community in the district.
As part of this programme, Rema Rajeshwari, Superintendent of Police, visited Utkoor, a remote village in Narayanpet division on Monday and inaugurated a tailoring centre to help the joginis to get trained in tailoring and lead a better life by making a decent earning.
While speaking at the occasion, the SP explained how the police had decided to join hands with many agencies to facilitate hassle-free rehabilitation for Joginis. She also shared how she had decided to bring Joginis in the mainstream as part of her ongoing project as a Fellow of the Ananta-Aspen Centre for Global Leadership Development.
As many as 50 Joginis have been provided with sewing machines and more will be trained in the days to come. With the help of the local police, the team christened as ‘Jogini Vyavastha Vyethireka Porata Samiti (JVVPS)’ led by its convener Hajamma is working towards total eradication of this practice.
Jogini system is one of the patronised social evils prevalent in many parts of Telangana, particularly in Mahbubnagar district with different names (Devadasi, Basavi, Matangi, etc.) and in different forms. It signifies dedicating a young girl or woman to a deity or other objects of worship, temples, etc., and thereafter, prohibiting her from entering into the institution of marriage.
The women initiated into this system generally belong to the socially and economically vulnerable sections and are sexually and psychologically exploited by vested interests. To prevent and eradicate this heinous practice, the Andhra Pradesh government enacted the ‘AP Devadasis (Prohibition of dedication) Act, 1988’.
In spite of the government’s efforts, the system still prevails in some remote areas. A rough estimate shows that there are about 2000 Joginis in Mahbubnagar district alone. A survey done by the district police shows that though the system is publicly criticised by many, it is privately promoted and is still prevalent in some of the remote villages in the district.
“To eradicate the menace of Jogini system, we have collaborated with Jan Shikshan Sansthan, a scheme under the Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Government of India, to provide vocational skills for them under non-formal system. Not just fighting legally, we are also taking various initiatives to help them provide alternative livelihood sources and become self reliant to lead a decent and dignified life,” informed the SP.
The Jan Shikshan Sansthan is one a multifaceted development schemes, which leads to increase in per capita income of the individual. With good results under this scheme, the target group will become self sustained and be able to lead independent life with the vocational skills acquired through Jan Shikshan Sansthans. As such, the Joginis will get benefit by getting awareness through Jan Shikshan Sansthans for their socio economic development.
The SP also announced that as soon as vacation of educational institutions starts, children born of joginis will be given free computer training by the district police IT core team. The District Police’s ongoing campaign ‘Balyaniki Raksha’ also focuses on creating awareness in remote villages against this practice. SP also appreciated the efforts made by BVenkataiah, District Training Manager, ZPP and members of Jan Shikshan Sansthan in organising the training.