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The organization came into existence in 1997 when the Karnataka State Women Development Corporation (KWDC) and MYRADA were supporting the Devadasi Rehabilitation program in Karnataka. MASS was initiated to secure rights and justice for women and children. The organization’s leadership is comprised of marginalized women who were victims of the devadasi system in society.


Belgaum is known to be the commercial and industrial hub of North Karnataka. However, child marriages are common in the district which increases risk of adverse reproductive health consequences as well as other health hazards. Alcoholism among men, acute poverty, gender based traditions and insensitive attitude of men have made girl children more vulnerable to gender based violence.

One of the predominant features of the district is the Devadasi system wherein young girls (sometimes even before they are born) mainly from dalit families were forced to be dedicated to a local deity/goddess and were expected to lead an ascetic life in the service of the goddess. As the tradition degenerated into an exploitative one, only dalit women were forced to lead life as devadasis, particularly from the lowest rung within the dalit community. Belgaum, Bijapur, Davangere, Bagalkot, Raichur, Koppal, Dharwad, Bellay, Gulbarga, Shimoga, Haveri, Gadag and other districts of north Karnataka are witness to this system. High infant mortality rate, lack of public health care facilities, malnourishment, lower number of ICDS centers, high rate of school droup-outs, child trafficking are some other critical child rights issues in the area.


  • To monitor the girl child from birth to completion of their education till class 12.
  • To monitor the status of adolescent girls and prevent the girls from forced Child marriage system.
  • To address girl child protection issues of female infanticide, female feticide, violence, abuse and harassment.v
  • To monitor the survival of the girl child and its access to health and health care for reducing the widening sex ratio gap.
  • To monitor the severely malnourished children for their improvement in weight and access to medical treatment.
  • To increase the access to high schools with the coercive demand to sanction 3 more high schools for 8 gram panchayaths.
  • To monitor and strengthen the provision of girl toilets and other basic facilities in the schools for facilitating increased girl children enrollment and retention in the schools.
  • To strengthen the adolescent collective process for deeper understanding and analysis on the status of girl children and their progress.
  • To strengthen the community mobilization process for facilitating close knit protection systems for the girl children.

Review and Impact

MASS has been successful in eradicating the practice of the forced devdasi system in Belgaum district. Currently with CRY partnership the organization is operating in 20 revenue villages of Chikkodi taluka in Belgaum district of Karnataka. The focus of the project is on ensuring dignity and education of girl children to prevent child marriages, child trafficking, girl child abuse and girl children being forced into the devadasi practice.

  • Birth Registrations of children Paying visits to each working –area and convincing them about the importance of Registration.
  • 539 child immunization ensured in 8 working villages.
  • Base – Line information’s of 690 babies were collected and visited each house and had the discussions with their parents.
  • Identification was done for Children who were suffering from malnutrition in the project area.

  • 148 drop out children have been identified, out of which 22 children were re-enrolled to the schools.
  • 3 children have been admitted to Government Social Welfare Residential Center.
  • Team organised training for 200 children for writing the entrance for Morarji Residential schooling facilities.
  • Meetings for children have been conducted, 223 children took part in it.
  • Legal Training camp has been organised in 5 villages where 62 girls participated.
  • The team has visited 86 families and explained in detail about the malnutrition, the school education, child marriage, child labour etc.


  • Regular monitoring of girl children from Anganwadi’s with regard to immunization, growth monitoring treatment for malnutrition, school enrolment, adolescent health and access to higher education.
  • To collect village level data on child rights status in the operational area on child marriage, child trafficking, immunisation, anganwadis, malnutrition, children’s health, schools, drop out / child labour, girl children.
  • Organise training for 200 children for writing the entrance examination for Morarji residential schooling facilities.
  • To address violations on girl child and support legally by documentation of 25 girl child violence , abuse, harassment, specific assessment / monitoring of instances of female feticide & infanticide, child trafickking / missing girl children.
  • Give training / orientation to the community members, organized and un organized groups on child protection aspects.
  • Demanding the sanction of new anganwadis to reduce the access gap and increase the coverage of ICDS related anganwadi services in the villages.
  • Mobilise community and pressurise the district health officer to activate 3 defunct health sub centers.
  • Further identification of the malnourished children, moderate and severely malnourished. Regular monitoring of the 66 severely malnourished children identified.
  • Demand for upgradation of classes in primary schools for increasing enrolment of girl children.
  • Conduct school re-enrolment campaign in all the 8 panchayaths.
  • Initiate and strengthen 5 new adolescent collectives to further the campaign for ensuring dignity and education for the girl children.


  • Right to Development
  • Right to Protection
  • Right to Participation
  • Administration
  • Total Grant Approved