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Devdasi or Temple Slave| 3mins
Director: Rohini Pawar | Producer: Video Volunteers
Focus Years: 2010 | Country: India
Subject Tags: asia, belief, gender, human rights, religion
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
Devdasi is the institutionalized practice of sexually exploiting women by religious organizations and temples. The women who are victims of this practice are mostly from untouchable, lower-caste and other socially marginalized groups. Devdasi literally means "God servant". Devdasis serve priests, high caste men and feudal lords. These men use their power to religiously sanction prostitution in the name of "sacred tradition". In this tradition, pre-pubescent girls are married off to a local village deity. From this point onwards, their lives become the property of the local temple. They are not allowed to marry nor have children. It is considered a Devdasi’s absolute duty to comply with this. The service she provides to the priests and other men is considered equal to serving God. She has no way out. Even if she were able to physically escape, society would not accept her.

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