President of National Alliance of Women Dr Ruth Manorama called Devadasi system ‘an organised crime against Dalit women’.
Speaking at the inaugural function of a two-day national consultation on eradication of Devadasi system on Tuesday, she said, “What happens to Devadasis every day is not an accidental rape.
It is organised crime.
Religion, illiteracy, poverty and superstitions have played a major role in making the Devadasi system an organised crime against Dalit women.
” “When a girl was gangraped in Delhi, the social consciousness of the middle class woke up and it gave rise to a voice for justice.
But sadly, people are totally indifferent about this organised crime which has been happening to Devadasis for a long time,” she said.
Quoting the report of National Commission of Women, Manorama said, “More than 2.
5 lakh girls who are dedicated to temples in Maharashtra-Karnataka borders are all from Dalit communities.
” The report, she said, also says that the girls, dedicated to temples, are unable to marry and forced to become prostitutes for upper caste members in villages and many eventually are pushed into urban brothels.
Though Devadasi system declared illegal by the State government in 1982, the practice is still prevalent in 10 districts in North Karnataka.