ANANTAPUR: In a major breakthrough, officials of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), along with police, rescued two minor girls from being made joginis in Rayadurgam area of Anantapur district on Tuesday. Of the two, one girl is studying in class VIII and the other is aged just six years.
Jogini or basavini is a medieval custom of offering young girls to serve in temples of local gods. These girls are later forced into becoming prostitutes of the village. This custom has managed to survive in certain parts of Rayadurgam and Kalyanadurgam areas of Anantapur district along the Karnataka border.
ICDS officials received information from villagers of Kalahal in Bommanhal mandal that a mother, herself a jogini, was trying to turn her daughter, studying in class VIII, a jogini like her by following traditional customs at the local temple premises. Following this, the officials and police rushed to the village and rescued the girl. The mother, however, resisted saying she was only abiding by local religious customs of submitting her daughter to the village god as a jogini.
Post rescue, the girl wished to continue her studies and requested authorities to help her study in a hostel. A mandal-level team promptly provided her admission into the area KGBV Residential High School.
Likewise, another mother tried to convert her six-year-old daughter as jogini at Somulapuram village in D. Hirehal mandal. She too was rescued and her mother counselled against turning her daughter into a jogini....