A very important approach was and is therefore the awareness-raising among the population: no one has the right–and certainly not in the name of a goddess – to destroy the lives of young girls and women in this way. The years of hard work has borne fruit: today is dedicated to a girl of more of the goddess in this district. The villagers have decided against the temple dances. We could create alternatives for women who formerly worked in the “industry”,: you have opened small shops, the seamstress made a training etc. By the Government, they received support for small, simple homes. The women have joined in groups: Here you can talk about their situation and their difficulties openly and search together for solutions. There are now even women’s groups, in which the former temple prostitutes together with other Village women sit – a revolution! And the fact that a whole series of these “Mathammas” could now marry and raise a family is just as revolutionary.
“2. individual stories Basamma, 27 years: it was my dream to marry early, but as Devadasi, it is forbidden to me.” The fate of Basamma from the village of Chiribi in Karnataka Basamma, the pretty girl title of our exhibition, is 27 years old, she has two children, Archana is a year old, Akash 5 years. Basamma of the goddess Ucchangidurga was ordained at the age of 9 years. Her mother was a widow and was afraid that she’d be not at the age when the would marry the youngest of their two daughters, Basamma, and thus leave the House. Basamma says: the first years after the consecration nothing for me has changed first.
But according to the ritual of initiation, it was shortly after puberty, I knew that I’m different than other girls. It should be my big day. My mother decorated me with bangles, chains of flower in the hair and a new Sari.