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NCW calls for abolition of Devadasi system

NCW calls for abolition of Devadasi system
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National Commission for Women chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam on Monday regretted that the Devadasi system is prevailing. Parents, mostly Dalit communities, were marrying off their daughters to a local deity or t a temple, she said.

Hyderabad: National Commission for Women chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam on Monday regretted that the Devadasi system is prevailing. Parents, mostly Dalit communities, were marrying off their daughters to a local deity or t a temple, she said.

Speaking to the media, she said the girls were forced to perform dance and were subjected to cruel beating. She also highlighted the need to curb it as women were still forced into this in the name of “tradition.” Lalitha Kumaramangalam said the Devadasi system continued to flourish in rural areas not just in south India but across the country.

The NCW Chairperson along with the Women Commissions of the states was holding regional consultation on problems of Devadasis in India. Lalitha Kumaramangalam stressed need to take up programmes on a massive scale to curb the evil practice. She said “We are conducting seminars, research projects, consultations with various communities, especially women groups, who are subjected to violence, to know the extent of vulnerability they are prone to.”

Chairperson of National Commission for Women Lalitha Kumaramangalam addressing the media in Hyderabad on Monday. She is flanked by NCW member Shamina Shafiq and AP State Women’s Commission chairperson Tripurana Venkataratnam.

All over the country women were subjected to violence, she said. The NCW sought to advise the governments to change the policies. “We spoke to a few women who said that they are forced into this system and they want to get out of this trade, they claim that its social pressure that forces them to become Devadasis. She complimented the NGOs for doing good job.

The problem was rampant rural areas, the NCW Chairperson said “Poverty over generations forces them into becoming Devadasis, every person we spoke to asked for skill training, so that they can stand on their feet economically. They want right to education, right to land, they want to be able to receive pension, they want access to health services,” they wanted to be treated with respect and dignity.

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