India's Devadasi System

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A group of women and girls sit on a bench in Kokatnur, India. The mural behind them is part of an extensive public education campaign executed by MASS (a group of ex-Devadasis) and supported by its umbrella organization, MYRADA, and includes large painted murals around Yellamma temples with text and pictures warning against participating in the Devadasi system.  These murals depict scenes of various Devadasi dedication rituals with large "X" marks through them.  While many of Yellamma's worshippers are illiterate, the paintings, with their vivid colors and the dramatic scenes they depict, are compelling.  Coupled with other forms of public education, the hope is that Devadasi dedications will become a thing of the past.