HART Prize for Human Rights 2019| Sacrifice: A tale of a Devadasi girl

27 March 2019

This year we received a record number of entries from a diverse range of countries, resulting in our toughest competition yet! We were truly impressed by the quality, creativity, and passion for Human Rights demonstrated by our participants, and toughly enjoyed all the submissions we received.

Mandhla Ashley Mavolwane won the joint 2nd place in our HART Prize for Human Rights Senior Creative Competition 2019 with their entry titled:

Sacrifice: A tale of a Devadasi girl – It captures the trauma that young girls face through the sexual exploitation and discrimination that comes with being a Temple prostitute under the Devadasi system in India

Sunrise comes to my rescue,

I can take a break from this nightmare.

A nightmare that made me nocturnal like the moon.

Born with a call I could not ignore,

The beads and gems confirm my affiliation to the Devadasi system.

My matrimonial contract is sacred to Yellamma

But mortal men pass me around like a cigarette.

Each one has different needs

Each one despises the latex sheath

Each one leaves me with an ailment

All I know is discrimination and prejudice.

I no longer enjoy the food I buy

As I pay for it with money and the change I get is hatred.

Growing up I fantasized every girl’s dream,

To marry a good man and have a family.

All that was washed away like seashore sand,

Today I fulfill sexual desires to all men.

Men who come nicodemously without their wives’ knowledge.


As the sunsets on the horizon,

I prepare for the moon’s shift

Where I sacrifice my womanhood

For the heavenly riches that await my family.


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