Organisational History: Mahila Abhivruddi Mattu Samrakshana Samsthe (MASS) is based in the Belgaum district of the southern Indian state of Karnataka. MASS mainly works with dalit women ith a focus on ex-Devadasi women and their children
It is a membership association of ex-devadasi women and was registered as a society in September 1997 under the Karnataka Societies Act of 1960. MASS evolved as part of the withdrawal strategy of the Devadasi rehabilitation projects of Karnataka State Women Development Corporation (KSWDC)
MYRADA with funding support from Oxfam NOVIB. ‘Devadasi’ is an old tradition1 in some parts of India, wherein a young dalit girl is dedicated to a local deity/goddess and is expected to lead a life in service of the goddess. However, over the centuries these women have been prone to exploitation and discrimination by the society and in some cases, forced into prostitution.