Prevalence [Devadasi]

The Devadasi cult is prevalent in different forms throughout India, to this day. It is seen to a large extent in the districts of Belgaum, Bidar, Bijapur and Gulbarga in North Karnataka. The backward areas of Belgaum district are more prone to this cult, where maximum number of Scheduled Caste women from villages of Belgaum district are given away to Yellama Deity of Soundatti in Belgaum district.

According to the National Commission of Women, over 2.5 lakh girls, most of whom belong to the Dalit communities, are dedicated to Yellama and Kondabba temples in the Maharashtra Karnataka border. Besides Karnataka, the Devadasi system continues in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu. A 1993-94 survey found there were 22,873 Devadasis spread across 10 districts of Karnataka. And a re-survey in 2007, revealed that there are around 30,000 Devadasis in 14 districts of the state.
In Telangana and Rayalseema region of A.P., there is prevalence of Devadasi cult to a large extent. In Andhra Pradesh there are 24,273 Devadasis according to reports of A.P. Social Welfare CommissionKarimnagar-5,861, Nizamabad-5,666, Mahbubnagar-2,879, Warangal-1,059, Anantapur-2,686, Kurnool-2,197, Medak-1,145, Adilabad-906, Hyderabad 740, Chittoor 544, Nellore 284, Rangareddy 231, Nalgonda-40, Prakasam-26, Visakhapatnam-7, East Godavari-1, and Kadapa -1), the actual number could be more than 80,000.

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