Structure of MASS (Organisation)

MASS is completely owned and managed by women who were earlier dedicated as devadasis but who have chosen not to continue with its rituals. The current membership of MASS stands at 3,622 ex-devadasi women. They make up its General Body. Its primary constituency was and continues to be the devadasis of Belgaum district. However, in recent times, it has extended its scope of objectives beyond ex-devadasi women and has included other dalit women as its target group. Such women can join MASS to take benefit of its programmes but currently cannot engage in its management functions. Currently, 511 such dalit women are enrolled in MASS.

All members of MASS, whether ex-devadasi or non-devadasi dalits, are members of self-help groups at the village level and engage in weekly meetings, savings and credit activities, and activities that check the revival of devadasis rituals and facilitate their empowerment.

The Board of MASS is elected from its General Body and consists of 15 members. The tenure of the Board is 3 years. The Board meets every month and is very hands-on with the management of MASS’s various programmes.

To carry out the day-to-day work of the Organisation, staff are employed. There is an Executive Director who is a MASS member and who is appointed by the Board. Apart from her there are 20 staff, of which a team of senior members support the Executive Director on programme management. More than 90% of the staff of MASS are either ex-devadasi women or their children. Of the total staff, 13 are women.