Christmas celebrated with Trans-genders and Devadasis at Bellary
BALLARI, 22 DEC 2023 (Fr Jai Prakash):

Over 100 trans-genders and Devadasi women joyfully celebrated Christmas at Holy Trinity Church, Kudathini on December 22.

The programme was organized by the Bellary Diocesan Commission for Trans-genders and Devadasis, facilitated by Fr Jai Prakash and Sister Merin Jose SJC.

In his presidential message Bishop of Bellary Henry D'Souza lauded the work of the commission which has been striving to "reach out to the most neglected section of the society", and added, "Both the trans-genders and the Devadasi women are subjected to much humiliation and are ostracized. Any effort to help them with healthcare and education would be a noble service."

Insisting on imparting quality education to the Devadasi children would help to wean out those helpless children from the decadent custom an d bring dignity to them”, stated Bishop D’Souza.

"At Christmas God became human, lifting the fragile human to the dignity of becoming the children of God. Therefore, Christmas offers great hope to the last and the least in the society – offering them recognition, dignity and hope", opined Bishop.

Bishop Henry D'Souza stresses the importance of working together in the right direction to eradicate this evil system in the society and live with human dignity and respect.

He lauded the commission working tirelessly to bring change in this dysfunctional community and uplift their life situation. He said that its really meaningful celebration to invite this neglected persons and show them dignity and honour. This is the true christmas... whatever you do to the least of my brother that you have done unto me...

Devadasis are part of a religiously sanctioned ancient system in this area where girls are offered as "slaves of  goddess".

In Kuditini and it's surroundings there are 83 Devadasis, many of them live aound Kurugod town. 

About 30 trans-genders and eunuchs live here around Kuditini, Kurugod and surrounding areas. 

The diocese of Bellary under has constituted a commission to cater to these hopeless and helpless persons, who stand in the lowest strata of the society in this area.

The major problem is educating the girl children. Now three girls from the Keri are placed in the nearby convent for their education. All these 3 children are doing well. Another 12 girls are ready to go to the schools in Ballari next year.

  The Commission conducts regular free health checkup camps. This helps them to get free medicines and the health checkup.

2 small and beautiful houses have been built for 2 Eunuchs. Another house is on the way.

This is the 5th year in a row Christmas is celebrated with these special persons.

This is an occasion for all the 4  churches in Kuditini to come together and celebrate the Christmas.

The celebration began with lighting the lamp. The dignitaries present lit the lamp. Bishop Henry D'Souza, Mrs. Roopa Lad, Mr. Sunil Rolph (Vice President of JSW), Swami Vijayananda, Ms. Yankamma, a leader of Devadasis, Frs. Ivan Pinto, the Dean, Yagappa BDDS Director,  Fr. Sunder Raj, Social Worker Ms. Saroja, Brahma Kumari Rajeshvari and Sr. Merin Jose, the secretary of the commission and two Devadasis children together lit the lamp. 

Pastor Devendrappa and his congregation members sang the prayer song.  

Ms. Yankamma the leader of Devadasi, explained clearly their life situation  . "We are a cursed community. Men use us and throw us away," She  requested JSW to build small houses for all the 83 Devadasis in one land.  Sunil Rolph of JSw immediately responded to come with application so that he can take it to the head office at Mumbai and try to do the needful. This was really heartwarming news for all the Devadasis. 

Swami Vijayananda,  Mrs. Roopa Lad, Ms. Saroji,  Bramha Kumari Akka every body spoke on the occasion. Each one urged these less fortunate communities to come up in life using all the available sources. 

Children of different churches of Kuditini sang  christmas carols. 

Fr. Sunder thanked everyone.

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