Ahead of budget, NLSIU writes to CM, seeks Rs 300 crore for welfare of devadasis

Last Updated 08 February 2018, 19:37 IST

The National Law School of India University (NLSIU) has written to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to allocate Rs 300 crore for the welfare of devadasis.

The letter written by
Prof R Venkata Rao, vice chancellor, NLSIU on January 30, 2018, ahead of the 2018-19 state budget to be presented by Siddaramaiah on February 16, said that the monthly honorarium, employment loan and housing facility provided by the government are reaching only a handful of devadasi women. The government pays
Rs 1,500 as honorarium and Rs 2,000 as employment loan. But Devadasis are denied of basic amenities of life and, their children are suffering the most for their identity, both socially and financially.

Rehabilitation policy

Though the state government came up with the Karnataka Devadasis (Prohibition of Dedication) Act, 1982, abolishing the practice and punishing those who enforce the devadasi system, there is no policy in place for rehabilitation of devadasi women and their children who are living in a dismal state.

The NLSIU has framed a resettlement and rehabilitation draft policy, which is in the stage of being vetted. Later, it will be sent to the state government for approval. The policy will include housing, healthcare, education and employment opportunities for mothers and and their children.

The state government has identified about 46,660 devadasi women from 14 districts, mainly in North Karnataka region.

About 97% of them belong to the the SC/ST communities.

"Nearly 90 % of the devadasis belong to the "madiga"community from the Scheduled Caste. The reservations meant for the SCs is not reaching this community as it is usually given to better privileged ones of the same community," said Prof Pradeep Ramavath, assistant professor, National Law School of India University, who is also the coordinator for the Center for the Study of Social Exclusion & Inclusive Policy.

(Published 08 February 2018, 18:34 IST)

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