Kavita seems to be an ordinary looking middle aged woman working her way out to earn a living, but look deep inside her eyes and you will see the pain and humiliation that she has gone through. To make the matter worse, what happened to her was done all in the name of God. How can any God be so merciless to deny a girl the right to study, right to stay with her family, right to have a family of her own, right to have a decent relationship in her life, right to marry a man, right to dream, right to be her.
Kavita was a Devdaasi, translated it means Slave of God. In actuality it means more than just a slave, it means married to the God for her entire life, but serve all the Men.
Devdaasi was a very old system practiced in India. Some say that it is still active in some of the rural villages of India. In this system, girls of 5 and 6 years of ages, were given to the temples, where they were married to the God in big ceremonies. The girl thus married to the God, can not marry anyone else, and served all her life in the temple as a slave. But, this was not all. Girls who were married to God, had no free will and thus mostly she was forced into prostitution. Only god knows how many girls have faced this humiliation of serving these devilish desires of men. Irony being a prostitute has a right to say no, but being slaves a Devdaasi didn’t even had that right. They were just reduced to being a Temple Prostitute.
Now that this practice is almost in extinction phase but still the ones like Kavita, who have come out of the system are working hard to make their ends meet. Being a single mother of two teen age children in a small village of Karnataka, India, she finds it hard to even manage the school fees of her kids. To top it all, as the stigma of Devdaasi is attached to her now for permanently, she and the likes of her do not find any job opportunity. Only thing that is left for them to live a dignified life is to start their own small business.
How can you Help Kavita?
Kavita has started a small business of selling textiles. But she needs more support to scale up her business. Her friends Kasthuri and Mallava also have the same stories. They are in buffalo and goat rearing business. What all of them need is some support from all of us so that they can scale up their business, and help their families to build a better future. These 3 women seek a loan of Rs.45,000, repayable over 18 months, to expand their small scale businesses. To help them and learn more about the cause, please visit Milaap’s site here.
Milaap and Mass are NGO, working with ASSET India Foundation for the empowerment of these women. These organizations are helping these women to come out of the Devdaasi system by providing them small support to start their own business and be financially independent. They are also helping their kids against human trafficking and giving them opportunity to study.
You can help Kavita and her group by lending her a helping hand in scaling up her business by lending a loan. In case you can not lend a loan, then do spread the word so that others who can, come to know of her plight and help her.