In India, the prostitutes who dwell in the temples are called Devadasis. In other words, prostitution sanctioned b y the religion in India may also be termed as Devadasi System which is being practiced even today in various parts of India. Devadasi system which is practiced in India has given birth to the vicious traditions like forced prostitution in the country. It is a surprising fact that the government of India outlawed the Devadasi system in 1988, but is in prevalent in several parts of South India even today. It is estimated that more than 250,000 Devadasis exists currently in India. Nearly 50,000 Devadasis are estimated in South India alone.
The girls who are forced in this practice are often from the lower castes of India. They are given to the temple authorities as human offerings in order to appease gods. These young girls were naturally dedicated as Devadasis or temple servants. They are married to Yellamma and forced to spend their lives serving the deity, which needs catering to the sexual needs of men. These girls are not permitted to marry a man in their lives. The children of these girls have no fathers, so they are forced to lead a life of orphans as they have no dignity in the society.
The Devadasi way of life is also seen by many poor families as an easy way to unburden themselves of their daughters. They termed as servants of gods, but in reality Devadasis serve only men. In their young age, they are used as the prostitutes, but in their old age, they will have to lead a life of beggar in their old age. These girls are also entitled to appease the sexual desires of the priests of the temples and the influential Zamindars of the village. Besides this, Devadasis are condemned to a life of suffering from various sexual diseases including AIDS.
This religious practice gave birth to a new caste that is termed as Devadasis. It cannot be ignored that 90 per cent of the Devadasis are from the lower castes. The tradition has been banned and outlawed by the government of India, but this practice is still carried out secretly by the some wicked parents and the priests in several states of the country. The parents of these girls sacrifice the lives of their daughters for the sake of money. The system of Devadasis is still prevalent in the most developed states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu. The ultra modern Karnataka alone has more than 20,000 Devadasis.