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 day purification ceremony following the onset of menstruation. 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 sex since their early teens. Bheemakka says she was covered in turmeric and sandlewood paste as part of the purification process. After washing off the concoction, she was kept indoors for 11 days. Afterwards, her neighbors came over for a party. Some say the original devadasi system of giving over females in service or marriage to a deity dates back to the ninth Century, but others believe it has existed in some form since B. In their heyday, between the 13 th and 16 th centuries, devadasis were high caste, educated women -- sometimes from royal families -- who performed dances for Yellamma, the deity, and looked after the temple precinct. They were forbidden from marrying mortals.
The practice, said to be years old, determines whether the bride is a virgin or not by looking for bloodstains on a white bedsheet that the newly-wed couple is instructed to use for intercourse on their wedding night. A group of Kanjarbhati youths who have been actively trying to stop what they consider to be a heinous ritual have petitioned the government to make it illegal. They have even threatened the youth group and their families with a social boycott that would see them excluded from normal social and commercial relations in the community. But through their activism, the young protesters have been able to attract the attention of the government. Following Kanjarbhat traditions, on their first wedding night, the couple was sent to a hotel room with a white sheet on the bed. Meanwhile, the family members and pancha judges of Caste Panchayat Caste Council of the community waited outside. The scene of when the groom came out of the room and talked to family and Jat Panchayat members was recorded by a social activist present at the post-wedding ceremony on December 31, But if a bride does not bleed on her first wedding night, she is considered not to be a virgin. In which case, her whole family is either boycotted by the community or heavily fined, even though social boycott has been illegal in Maharashtra since
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