Reservation for Devadasis too stressed

“Despite several demands to the government, schemes and plans have not benefitted us. We and our children need reservation and education,” said Shakunthala, a former Devadasi.

She was speaking at a preliminary meeting on reservation for sexual minorities and victims of sexual exploitation in Mysore on Friday.

Though Shakuntala was given five minutes to speak, she stopped her speech after quoting her demand.

This provoked an activist to explain to the audience about subjugation meted upon Devadasis and their children for centuries.

B S Patil, a social activist from Athani, Belgaum speaking on “Why reservation is necessary for Devadasis?” said that women continue to be victims of Devadasi practice and also human trafficking in parts of North Karnataka.

“Though trafficking of women is prohibited under Article 23 of the Indian Constitution, thousands of women are being rescued every year. Of all the trafficked women, 46 per cent of them end up in brothels,” he said.

Education

Speaking on the ills of Devadasi tradition, he said that efforts are being made to discourage girl children of Devadasis of continuing the tradition.

“The problem with Devadasi tradition is that their children are also forced to become Devadasis,” he lamented.

According to the definition of minorities, minorities are identifiable groups in society. “Since transgenders and victims of sexual harassment are minorities in society and reservation must be demanded for them,” he said.

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