When Sayababba was two, she suffered from a health problem. Her parents took a religious vow to make her devdasi and dedicate her to the Hindu goddess Vellamma if she gets well. After six-months she was cured miraculously but her future was marred forever. Sayababba started her life afresh when her daughter Ashwini started going to school. Now at 45, she works in the field and earns a decent living.

The first time I met Sayababba, there were lot of women around from the village. I was apprehensive of asking about her past (personal life) in front of so many people. We talked about present and I left. It was only during the second visit that i got the courage and told my colleagues that i wanted to know more about her. That’s how Sayababba shared few bits and pieces of her life along with the breakfast that she had prepared for us. Sayababba has worked all her life;  to fulfill the wishes of her family, taking responsibility of her sister’s sons when she passed away and now taking care of her daughter. I cannot even gauge what she has gone through but have seen the strength in her eyes, hope and and forgiveness in her voice. Sayababba will always inspire me . . .

According to National Commission of Women, more than 2.5 lakh girls who are dedicated to temples in Maharashtra-Karnataka borders are all from Dalit Communities. Religion, illiteracy, poverty and superstitions have played a major role in making the Devadasi system an organised crime against Dalit women. (Karnataka, 2013)
 (image by Sarika)
When Sayababba was two, she suffered from a health problem. Her parents took a religious vow to make her devdasi and dedicate her to the Hindu goddess Vellamma if she gets well. After six-months she was cured miraculously but her future was marred forever. Sayababba started her life afresh when her daughter Ashwini started going to school. Now at 45, she works in the field and earns a decent living. The first time I met Sayababba, there were lot of women around from the village. I was apprehensive of asking about her past (personal life) in front of so many people. We talked about present and I left. It was only during the second visit that i got the courage and told my colleagues that i wanted to know more about her. That’s how Sayababba shared few bits and pieces of her life along with the breakfast that she had prepared for us. Sayababba has worked all her life; to fulfill the wishes of her family, taking responsibility of her sister’s sons when she passed away and now taking care of her daughter. I cannot even gauge what she has gone through but have seen the strength in her eyes, hope and and forgiveness in her voice. Sayababba will always inspire me . . . According to National Commission of Women, more than 2.5 lakh girls who are dedicated to temples in Maharashtra-Karnataka borders are all from Dalit Communities. Religion, illiteracy, poverty and superstitions have played a major role in making the Devadasi system an organised crime against Dalit women. (Karnataka, 2013)
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