Being Untouchable

Devadasi


Above: Sujatha was until recently a ‘devadasi’, or temple prostitute. She was married at thirteen, but soon returned home, as her husband did not care for her. In need of money, her parents sold her to the temple for the equivalent of £120. For two years, men would use her for a tiny fee, split evenly between her and the temple.

An estimated 40,000 women are devadasis, almost all of them Dalits. Untouchability does not apply to sex.  Sujatha was bought out by a married 'high' caste man, who visits her sporadically. "Who will want me when I've been used?", she asks.

Belgaum District, Karnataka.