India's Devadasi System

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Malashri Kamble, 16 (left) and Saraswati Patil, 11, play chess at their hostel  at Vimochana Sangha's school for the children of Devadasis in Malabad, India.  Kamble's mother was a Devadasi who died at a young age and Kamble was recruited for the school by a social worker when she was 10 years old. The school, which was founded in 1990 by Mr. B.L. Patil, is the first residential school established to break the cycle of the Devadasi system.  Because the belief is that all female children of Devadasis should themselves become Devadasis, the school was created to remove the children from the culture in which this practice took place and instead offer them an education.  All students receive free tuition, books, uniforms, food and medical care. Graduates have gone on to become teachers, nurses, engineers etc. Kamble's grandmother has reservations about Kamble continuing with her studies.  .