Help End Sex Trafficking Among the Dalit Girls of India
What is a jogini or devadasi?
Jogini or devadasi literally means, “servant of the gods”. Essentially, they are girls who have been dedicated to become temple prostitutes.
How does one become a jogini?
Most joginia are born into the position. The daughters of jogini are the most susceptible to become jogini themselves. Girls as young as five are dedicated to the temple goddess, Yellama, the goddess of fertility, to become a jogini. When they are of age, they are raped by either the temple priest or village sponsor who paid for the dedication and then are given over the village to be used.
How is this practice legal?
The practice in fact is illegal but it still prevalent. Most often these families and girls are the least educated and least empowered to defend their rights, with over 90% of the jogini being Dalit or the “untouchable” class.
How many jogini are there?
It’s difficult to assess, but there are estimates of up to 80,000 temple prostitutes in the Telengana state alone.
What is Ward Church doing about this?
Ward Church is continuing it partnership with its Open Doors India partner in helping free, rescue, and advocate for these girls and women. There is a silent & live auction dinner on f April 22, 2017 titled, Every Daughter Deserves to Dream.
How will the money be used?
All proceeds will go towards the work our partners are involved with the jogini – advocating in over 200 villages for the prevention of dedicating young girls to the life of a jogini, rescuing young girls who are the most susceptible to be trafficked, and empowering women to escape the life of a jogini.
How can I get involved?
You can get involved in three ways:
- PRAY for the young girls and the women who are in bondage
- DONATE items for the silent & live auction
- PARTICIPATE by coming to the event as well as raise awareness