The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday gave notice the Governments of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh over allegations of the continuance of Devadasi system like an offering of girls to Goddess Mathamma.
The commission served notice over after it took cognizance of a complaint drawing its attention towards the inhuman treatment being meted out to the girl children and womenfolk, 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 practised in some parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
The Commission has observed that the allegations made in complaint as well as a media report 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, it has issued notices to the Chief Secretaries and the Director Generals of Police of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and to the District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police of Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu and Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, calling for reports within four weeks on 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.