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Coimbatore

Alleged continuance of Devadasi system: NHRC issues notice to TN, AP

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The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday issued notices to Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh Governments over the allegations of continuance of “Davadasi” system such as offering of girls to Goddess Mathamma.

The Commission took cognizance of a complaint drawing its attention towards the inhuman treatment being meted out to the girl children and women folk, who are forcibly taken to the temple of Goddess Mathamma for offering in Thiruvallur District of Tamil Nadu and adjoining places.

Allegedly, this practice is another form of “Devadasi” system, which is still practiced in some parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.The Commission observed that the allegations made in complaint about the continuance of this practice are serious in nature, and if true, these amount to violation of human rights including rights to education, life and dignity, besides children’s rights.

Accordingly, the NHRC has issued notices to the Chief Secretaries and the DGPs of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh besides serving to the District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police of Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu and Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, calling for reports within four weeks in the matter.

Allegedly, as part of the ritual, the girls are dressed as a bride and once the ceremony is over, their dresses are removed by five boys, virtually leaving them naked. They are denied to live with their families and have education. They are forced to live in Mathamma temple deemed to be like a public property and face sexual exploitation.

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