Virginity for Sale!
By Joanna Sugden, http://blogs.wsj.com/
- Joanna Sugden for The Wall Street Journal
- Bheemakka, 11, in ‘Bandhavi’, Koppal, Karnataka.
In Koppal, an impoverished district in Karnataka, virginity is for sale.
When girls dedicated in local temples under the illegal devadasi system hit puberty, their virginity is auctioned off to the highest bidder. Traditionally girls in this district in south India undergo an 11-day purification ceremony following the onset of menstruation. The “first maturity” ceremony, as they call it in Koppal, marks the transition into womanhood.
Bheemakka, who doesn’t have a surname because she doesn’t know who her father is, went through the puberty ritual in March, but she wasn’t sold.
The 11-year-old’s mother and grandmother are both devadasis, which means female servants of god. They were dedicated to the Hindu deity Yellamma as children and sold off after hitting puberty. They have been used by the men in their village for…
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