Attempt to make class 5 student a Devadasi thwarted

A girl studying in class five was prevented from becoming a Devadasi by officers of the Unicef Child Protection Project and the Devadasi Rehabilitation Project at Hulige in the taluk.

 

Despite a ban on the practice, pushing young girls into the Devadasi system continues surreptitiously in the village. The practice of initating girls is called ‘muttu kattuva’ ritual, where the girl is declared a Devadasi after she wears a necklace made of white and red beads at the Huligemma temple on the banks of the River Tungabhadra on a full moon day. 

After the law banned such rituals in temples, hundreds of girls are being pushed into flesh trade under the evil practice of Devadasi. The officials arrived minutes before the ritual on February 7 and rescued Renuka Myagalamani of Hirebidanala village in Yalburga taluk. 

Unicef (United Nations Internation Children’s Emergency Fund) Child Protection Project officer Harish Jogi said Renuka’s mother Hanumavva was forced to become a Devadasi by her grandmother Kalakavva. 

For a few months till her death, Hanumavva worked as a volunteer under the rehabilitation project. She had expressed her desire before the officials to protect Renuka from her greedy grandmother, said Devaraj, the project officer, Devadasi Rehabilitation Project. 

Soon after Hanumavva’s death, grandmother Kalakavva, with the help of her relatives, planned to dedicate Renuka to the deity on the next full moon day. She secretly moved Renuka out of the village. 

Following the clues given by her mother on her death bed, a team of officers comprising Harish Jogi, Somashekhar, Usman and Devaraj, began searching for Renuka on February 6. On Tuesday, Kalakavva and three of her relatives bathed the girl in the Tungabhadra river and completed the rituals on its banks. The officers arrived at the spot before the final ritual was completed and rescued Renuka. 

Renuka, now in the safe custody of Bala Mandira in Koppal, wants to fulfil the last wish of her mother –– to study well. 

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