Hyderabad: CPI(M) on Wednesday urged the Telangana government to take steps for the welfare of `Joginis’ in Nizamabad district who are allegedly facing several problems related to their livelihood and well-being.
Though the ‘Jogini’ (a local term for `Devadasis’) system has been officially abolished, hundreds of women who were ‘Joginis’ earlier are living in Nizamabad region and successive governments have failed in rehabilitating them, CPI(M) Telangana State Secretary T Veerabhadram said in a letter to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
Some ‘Joginis’ in Nizamabad district met CPI(M) functionaries during the latter’s ongoing state-wide ‘padayatra’ to highlight the problems of weaker sections, Veerabhadram said in the letter.
Alleging the TRS Government has also not bothered about the welfare of these women, he quoted the ‘Joginis’ as having told the CPI(M) team that they and their children still face discrimination.
“They (‘Joginis’) regretted that they are being asked to produce certificate of death of husband to get (Government social security) pension.” “How can they, who do not have a husband, can get a certificate about death of husband? Their children are being harassed when they are asked to name their father,” Veerabhadram said. “They told us that children of `Joginis’ are ill- treated in schools. Though they are recognised as Dalits as per law, they expressed anguish that they are not getting any benefits that Dalits get,” he added.
The ‘Joginis’ should be rehabilitated and provided with welfare schemes by implementing the recommendations of the Justice Raghunatha Rao Commission, among several other measures, he demanded.
The Devadasi system is a religious practice in some parts of India whereby parents marry a daughter to a deity or a temple. There have been allegations that Devadasis are often subjected to sexual exploitation in the name of religion.