Shobha, a former Devadasi, who is featured in the film ‘Sex, Death and
the Gods’, was dedicated at the age of eight. Her family was very poor
and they believed she could support the family financially once she reached
puberty. Shobha is from the Madiga caste.
> Read more on Shobha's story
Rekha is ten years old and comes from a low caste dalit community in
Northern Karnataka. Her mother practised as a Devadasi and, tragically,
died when Rekha was only five years old.
> Read more on Rekha's story
At the age of three Hanamavva was dedicated as a Devadasi. Her own mother was a Devadasi and felt she had no choice.
Lalitha was born into the tradition of Devadasi. Her own mother was dedicated at the age 12 and spent many years working in the brothels of Sangli. Lalitha’s 70 year old grandmother is also a Devadasi and still practices the rituals.
"Shortly after I first heard about the Devadasi, I found myself in Oxo tower looking at an exhibition of photographs detailing the work of EveryChild. I had been in contact with many of the English based NGO’s and Charities that worked with women and Children in India, but Everychild appeared to be the only one that actually had a programme that was specifically designed to work in the Devadasi communities along the northern Karnataka border."
> Read Beeban's blog
Each January, nearly half a million people visit the small town of Saundatti for a jatre, or festival, to be blessed by Yellamma, the Hindu goddess of prosperity. Devadasis consider Yellamma as their god.