Welcome to NS Study Group 3 & 4

Field Visit to Amma Foundation Raibag

Headquartered in Ghataprabha supporting interms of their life end to end for Devdasi.

AFR Vision

“Women and children live with dignity and respect in society”

AFR Mission

  1. Empwering rural women for an equitablenand sustainable world.
  2. Empowering children through quality education.
  3. Building a strong, inclusive society with education, healthcareand freedom for women & chidlren


Today we visited AMMA Foundation office at Raibag, (Ghatprabha of Belgavi District), as a Part of Netrutva Sangam Training Program. The facilitator was Dr.Pradip Malgude

Understating Devadasi System.
Learning from the experiences of AMMA Foundation.
Finding out the challenges and issues faced by Devadasis

Devadasi System


History of Devdasi System

Yellamma Cult of Karnataka in South India. In the southern Indian state of Karnataka the Devadasi system was practiced for over 10 centuries. Chief among them was the Yellamma cult. There are many stories about the origin of the Yellamma cult. The most popular story indicates that Renuka was the daughter of a Brahmin, who married the sage Jamadagni, and was the mother of five sons. She used to bring water from the Malaprabha river for the sage’s worship and rituals. One day at the river she saw a group of youths engaged in water sports and forgot to return home in time for her husband’s worship and rituals, which made Jamadagni question her chastity. He ordered their sons one by one to punish their mother, but four of them refused on one pretext or the other.
The sage cursed them to become eunuchs and had Renuka beheaded by his fifth son, Parashuram. To everybody’s astonishment, Renuka’s head multiplied by tens and hundreds and moved to different regions. This miracle inspired her four eunuch sons as well as others to become her followers and worship her head.


Life of Devadasis

This devedasi practice is only limited to SC women. The family has to devote at least one girl from the family to the temple
Mutthukattu Ritual. After getting puberty the girl is asked to get pure by bath in the river. From the river she is asked to walk naked through out the village upto temple. Devdasi getting married to Yellama Godesses then she wear five ornaments including Muthu Mala
The dominant caste people dealing with the parents for sex with the devadasi (50/100/200 Rs)


Anti Devadasi System Movement

MYRADA Mysore started working on Devadasi system. In collaboration with the Government of Karnataka they appointed volunteers iin 360 villages with remuneration of Rs. 300 each pm. They also made an awareness for education in SC Category people. In the year 2006 the NGO went Savardatti village at Yellama Temple and saved 40 women. Saved several jogata/jogati and cut their hair


Present Status of Devadasis

According to government record 46000 devaasi are there in Karnataka State (2018). Even after the continuous efforts of Karnataka Government, still these practices are running behind the curtain. In the year 1991, in Belgaum District the practice is more particularly prevailing in 360 villages. In 2023 there are more than 100 children in Belgaum District


Their Demands from the Government

DEMANDS OF DEVADASIS 5000 Rs per month remuneration. Reservation for Devadasi Children in education and job. Agriculture Land
Free higer educaton for children. Separate Corporation



Issues & Challenges. The children not getting father name. Health issues and STDs, HIV, Cancer. Evil religious practices for the benefit of some communities

Summary of AMMA Foundation

AMMA Foundation established in the year of 1991. Its focus area of is Devadasi practices in Karnataka and specially in Belgaum District. Beside this they work for awareness and preventing child marriage, child labor and school dropouts etc. The founder secretary of this organization is Smt Shobha Ghasti. In Belgaum district, reduction of Devadasi system by awaking people at community level was major success.

The Story of Smt. Shobha Ghasti

Smt. Shobha Ghasti is a secretary of AMMA Foundation. She became devadasi at the age of 14th years when she was studying in class 7th
She belongs to SC Community (Chalvadi). Her elder sister was devastated as devdasi and she run away with one muslim boy Her mother got dream of Yellama goddess directing her to devote her younger daughter. Then Smt.Shobha Ghasti was forced to become devdasi. At that time there were 50, She tried to come out of this system with the help of one NGO MYRADA in 1991. Since then she is working on Devadasi eradication and rehabilitation of their children

Some Numbers

Undertaken for eliminate society’s evil practices


In Belgaum district 4368 families, 8350 children in 59 villages to eliminate society’s evil practices. In Belgaum district, reduction of devadasi system by awaking people atcommunity level was major success. 164 dropout children readmitted, 219 child marriages were stopped, 127 children have been admitted to residential schools. By requesting govt. 25 Anganwadi buildings have constructed 06 villages-upgrading 9th std. by requesting Govt. 275 children-distribute education material.

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