New Delhi, 25th September, 2017
India - National Human Rights Commission Issues Notices to Districts on Forcing Girls to Be "Offerings to Temples" & Victims of Abuse
The National Human Rights Commission has taken 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 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 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.