in India and Nepal
child prostitution is a generic term which the Society
uses to describe religiously-sanctioned child
prostitution, and, specifically, those children engaged
in religious cult prostitution known variously as
aradhinis, basavis, bhavanis, bhogam-vandhis, devadasis,
jjgateens, jogins (or jogatis), kalavanthulas, kudikars,
maharis, muralis, natis and thevardiyars in India, and
as deukis in Nepal. Although there are differences
between these ancient institutions of cult prostitution,
essentially they all involve parents dedicating their
little daughters to a Hindu deity. The reasons for
dedication may differ. The deukis, for instance,
were girls who were offered by their parents as a
sacrifice to appease the gods, or were purchased from
their parents by wealthy worshippers and offered to the
these girls served as hierodules, or sacred temple
slaves or temple dancers, who were engaged by the
priests to provide sexual services to male supplicants
or male worshippers at the temple.
nowadays, this original purpose has gone and, after
dedication — usually at the age of 5 to 7 years of age
— the child is often deflowered by the priest and then
sold to the highest bidder, who keeps her as his child
concubine. When she grows older and loses the
bloom of youth, her buyer usually gets rid of her.
The girl then has to work in a brothel which often has a
shrine at the door to symbolize her original dedication
to Hindu cult prostitution.
British made efforts to suppress hierodulic child
prostitution in India — the Indian Penal Code 1860
made it a criminal offence to procure women or girls for
that purpose — and it was on the decline throughout
the earlier part of the last century. However,
there has been a recent revival of these institutions in
Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
material in this report is based on a Mission to South
Asia by the Society's Secretary-General.
THE SOCIETY IN ACTION
The Society has
embarked upon a program for the suppression of
hierodulic child prostitution in India.
IS THE SOCIETY IN ACTION
to other pages also dealing hierodulic servitude:
servitude in West Africa
to other pages dealing with slavery:
slavery still exist?
slavery in South Asia
West African slave trade
on the cocoa plantations in West Africa
overseas programs in Africa and Asia
to pages dealing with other servile conditions falling
short of slavery:
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