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The organization came into existence in 1997 when the Karnataka State Womens Development Corporation (KWDC) and MYRADA were supporting the Devadasi Rehabilitation rogramme in Karnataka. MASS was initiated to secure the rights for women and children. The organization leadership iscomprised 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 increased 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 lives 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 droupouts, child trafficking are some other critical issues in the area.


  • To ensure child survival by monitoring of primary healthcare services and protect dignity of girl children by prevention of child trafficking and child marriage.
  • To identify and monitor malnourished children of different categories.
  • To ensure access, quality & services of primary, secondary and high schools.
  • To strengthen girl child protection systems in all 20 intervention villages.
  • To re-enrol drop out children and child labor in public schools with special emphasis on girl children.
  • To strengthen community mobilisation to address children's rights.

Review and Impact

MASS has been successful in eradicating the practice of forced devdasi system in Belgaum district. Currently the organization is operating in 20 revenue villages of Chikkodi taluka in Belgaum district of Karntaka. The focus of the project will be on ensuring dignity and education of girl children to prevent child marriages, child trafficking, girl child abuse and girl children being forced into devadasi practice. MASS has been undertaking rograms like running children activity centers in Raibagh taluk, giving special academic inputs to strengthen the children's overall academic performance, identification of enrolled and drop out children, conducting of children gram sabhas and extending legal support service for the protection of women and children. While MASS has a strong presence in the community and good understanding of the devdasi ractice, CRY will closely work with the organization to strengthen its understanding on holistic child rights approach.


  • To collect village level data on child rights status in the operational area on child marriage, child trafficking, immunisation, anganwaadis, malnutrition, children's health, schools, drop out / child labor, girl children.
  • Identification of malnourished children of different category and monitoring 86 severely malnourished children. Ensuring roper medical treatments and doctor's advice to them.
  • Awareness on girl child protection. Monitoring any cases of forcing girl children into devadasi practice. Monitoring of child marriages and child trafficking.
  • Identify and follow up on the enrolment of child laborers / drop out children from the mainstream schooling process.
  • To ensure access, quality and basic services of immunisation, anganwaadis, nutrition, PHCs, health, PDS, ration cards.
  • To strengthen community mobilisation to address child rights by initiating 5 village level monitoring committees.
  • Capacity building of the team in the beginning of the year on holistic child rights, child marriage, trafficking, legal process, ICDS programs, education to strengthen knowledge of the team.


  • Right to Survival
  • Right to Protection
  • Administration
  • Total Grant Approved