Introduction:The Devadasisystem is not a cultural practice by any stretch of imagination, but a systemof child rape, sexual slavery, caste discrimination and gender-based violence.The importance of focused child protection laws to stop this practice cannot bestressed enough. Despite the practice having been banned in India almost 30years ago, a retired judge has estimated that there are still about 450,000 Devadasis in the country. The governmenthas not taken any notice of his report, leaving the oppression of young girlsto continue – even become normalized – without any legal or punitiveconsequences (Preamchandar, 2017)The children of Devadasiwere need special care than the normal children. Because this practice childrenare the most vulnerable and oppressed. This children were socially excluded “Social exclusion is a complex andmulti-dimensional process. It involves the lack or denial of resources, rights,goods and services, and the inability to participate in the normalrelationships and activities, available to the majority of people in a society,whether in economic, social, cultural or political arenas.
It affects both thequality of life of individuals and the equity and cohesion of society as awhole.A report released by UNICEF and UNESCO on out ofschool children in India has highlighted that Dalit girls have the highest primary school exclusion rate inIndia. The report also finds that half of the pre-school age Dalit children are not attending school.
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The report cites compounding factors such as ingrained social inequalities andpoverty among Dalits, to becontributing to higher rates of exclusion. It states, “Humiliation, harassmentand abuse by upper caste teachers towards children from Scheduled Castes havebeen shown to undermine their motivation to stay in school.” (Counterview.org, 2015)SocialexclusionTitled “Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children– South Asia Regional Study”, and covering India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka andBangladesh, relevant excerpts from the report that specifically talk of castediscrimination in the region.
Girls in rural areas, particularly those fromScheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in India also have higher rates ofexclusion. Social groups in India, school exclusion is considerably moreprevalent among Muslim children, and among older children from sociallydisadvantaged groups. The average rate of exclusion for primary school-agechildren from Scheduled Castes is 5.6 per cent and Scheduled Tribes 5.3 percent compared to the national average of 3.
6 per cent. Girls from ScheduledCastes have the highest rates of exclusion at 6.1 per cent (Counterview.
org, 2015)Legislationto combat Devadasi systemThere are few acts which are implemented to preventthe Devadasi system such as Bombay Devadasi Protection Act (“Bombay Act”),which was passed in 1934, Madras Devadasi(Prevention of Dedication) Act of 1947, the Karnataka Devadasis (Prohibition of Dedication) Act of 1982, the AndraPradesh Devadasi (Prohibition ofDedication) Act of 1988, and, most recently, the Maharashtra Devadasi (Abolition of Dedication) Billof 2005. Based on these Acts, the Devadasipractice is effectively outlawed throughout the entire country, with lawsspecifically targeted at parts of the country where the Devadasi practice continues to thrive.EducationalAspirations among DalitsKamen & Ellen (2004),study on “The Status, Survival and Current Dilemma of a Female Cobbler inIndia”. Dalit women are beingoppressed by structure of the Indian society.
Women from the lower strata havetraditionally borne the ascribed oppression generated by the Indian socialstructure. In this study he highlight that, only one women was found as studiedin cobbler community (Dalit). Womenin Dalit community always need toexplore the ability to negotiate and fight against multiple levels ofoppression and succeed in sustaining herself, her family, and her community. Inspite of constitutional protection and assurances, till now the status is foundto be lower than not only that of women in the general population and theScheduled Caste women but is also lower than the status of tribal men Chandrashekar andAkash (2011) in their paper “Educationaland Occupational Aspirations of Scheduled Caste College Students: An EmpiricalStudy” published in ‘SouthernEconomist’, highlighted that the education plays predominant rolein changing socio-economic status of the people of society. Every peopleof society aspire to obtain good position and status with the help ofeducation. This may not be possible for all people, as they live inbackward socio-economic conditions. It means the socio-economic conditionof people of society influences in developing overall personality of individualthrough obtaining sound education. The authors used questionnaire to study thescheduled caste students studying in Degree College students studying indifferent colleges of Raichur district.
For the purpose of the study, 225students belonged to the scheduled caste were chosen on sampling. The studyrevealed that the career aspirations of most of the scheduled caste studentsare they want to become teachers and lecturers rather than KAS or IAS officers.This may be due to their backward economic conditions. However,scheduled caste students have much talent they should aspire at high level andwork hard. It may help to improve their socio-economic status and also to leadthe better life Objectivesof the study:1.
Toknow the socio-economic condition of the Devadasiwomen2. To know the impact of social exclusionon the educational aspirations of the Devadasi children Methodsand material usedThe current study was carried out in mariyammahalliBellary district. Because, In Karnataka, Devadasipractice is more prevalent in northern Karnataka particularly in the districtsof Dharwad, Belagavi Bagalkot, Bijapur Bellary, Bidar, Gulabarga. (Bharathi & Madava, 2016) Here the researcher has taken Bellarydistrict, Mariyamanahalli is one amongthe highest Devadasi populationplace. Case study method was adopted to analyze the individual assessment. Case study means it is a process of record ofresearch into the development of a particular person, group, or situation overa period of time. These case studies were taken during through series of visitsto their village. Two case studies were discussed in this paper.
Both caseswere affected by the Devadasi system.To assess the socioeconomic condition of the case, researcher has used SESscale developed by Gaur. To accomplish the second objective researcher usedinterview and observation techniques to know the aspiration of higher educationamong them. Primary and secondary method of data collection was used in thestudy.CasestudiesCase.1Name Bhagya 18 years old, her mother is a Devadasi, being an elder daughter of the family she has to shoulderfamily responsibility and look after to take care of two younger brothers.
Hermother is aged 42 years works as cooli, only 140 rupees they will get as wage. Accordingto socio-economic status (Gaurs) scale the family score for socio-economiccondition is lower class( score between 10 to 19). Even they also wish to have higher education.Uncertain unemployment opportunities are not letting her to go ahead to reachher dream.
Its not enough to Complete their graduation and aspirant to pursuehigher education. Two young brother who are perusing schooling education, tosupplement the income to the family two younger brother were also going formining work weekly twice.They also excluded from the social ceremonies, lessinteraction with other communities.
They were humiliated by asking theirfathers name during school, it made them to leave the school. Now she is readyto reveal that they are son and daughter of Devadasi.But demands for governmental facilities.
The intervention of few NGO in thearea, gradual transformation has been happening among the younger generation.As a result of it educational aspirationhas been evolving among them. Bhagyamma wanted to become a lecturer, due tolack of support from the family members, financial aid and stigmatized life itsself curbed their education aspiration. Later the intervention of Dalitfoundation and serious workshop andtraining, opportunities given by thisorganization made her getting her own identity. At presently she is working asa capacity building trainer and receiving rupees five thousand as a fellowship.
Case2.Name Sudha 19years old, completed her matriculation and a daughter of Devadasi. Having three siblings who are school going girls. They wereliving in a slum area where they don’t have proper sanitation and house. Lackof proper income of the family and less interaction with other communities madeto feel isolated. They were not allowedto participate in any ceremonies celebrated in other than their community. Shewas always embarrassed by the people surrounded by them.
Not had the chance togrow confidently. In each stage of her education life she was been humiliated.She is the first generation girl in their family, who is stepped for education.Therefore she wanted to create her own identity by becoming teacher in society.
Her dream was to study Bachelor of Education course and wanted to become ateacher. She says, series of humiliating words from teachers, suspicious lookof the peer group, poverty , deprived of social status were vanished her dream.It made her to leave the college at first pre university college level. Whilesharing she also disclosed that, getting bride groom to marry was difficult forthem because she is daughter of Devadasi.According to socio-economic status (Gaurs) scale the family score forsocio-economic condition is lower class (score between 10 to 19). With theintervention of Sakhi NGO, she is able enhance her capacity now she working asa field officer in a NGO.ConclusionThe system of education, which is an imperative wayfor bringing about equality, is in fact replicating social hierarchies.
Multiple dimensional oppressions and social exclusion on all the sphere of their life has made them vulnerable. Majority ofDalit girls drop out of school due toharassment and economic pressures, the major cause for economic pressure is thesocial exclusion which has made them marginal. Therefore they are unemployed,as the limited jobs avail to them.
Now they are ready to reveal that they aredaughter of Devadasi and demands toget entitlement of their rights andgovernment provisions. The study found Devadasipractice and born in Dalit communityare the major cause for their social exclusion. Specific intervention programsshould be made to empower them. Reference Bharathi, & Madava, P.
(2016). Exploitation of Women as Devadasis and its Associated Evils. New Delhi: National Commission for Women. Counterview.org. (2015, March 23). South Asia regional study: Dalit girls most excluded from primary education in India. Retrieved January 10, 2017, from https://counterview.
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The Status, Survival and Current Dilemma of a Female Cobbler in India. Virginia: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Levitas, R., Pantazia, C., Fahmy, E., Gordan, D., & Lloyd, E.
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