Saika Bharat Aware, a 22-year-old resident of Tukai Nagar, Sinhagad Road, was saved from becoming a Devdasi by a group of activists who intervened after some locals suspected she was being forced into becoming a temple slave.

Sarika Aware

Devdasi literally means a slave of God and the woman who becomes one has to live in a temple. According to an old superstitious tradition, Devdasis can not get married and the practice ultimately reduces the woman to a sex worker.

On Wednesday, with the help of activists of the Anti-Superstition Committee, Aware not only came forward to remove the knotted lock of hair that is a sign of a Devdasi but also inspired three women living in Maval taluka in the district to avert a similar fate.

Aware was working as a domestic help and her employer Nandini Date asked the Anti-Superstition Committee office to intervene. "I am glad that I was able to help Aware. It is strange that even in a city we are forced to follow such old traditions and superstitions," Date said.