As part of its efforts to eradicate the practice of devdasis and rehabilitate them in the society, Maharashtra Government has hiked the financial assistance to devdasi women from Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000, official sources said.
The practice of devdasis is a religious tradition, in which, girls are "married" and dedicated to a deity.
While earlier, amount of Rs 10,000 was being given for the marriage of devdasis or their daughters, as per the new decision, if the daughter is a graduate, Rs 50,000 will be given for her marriage and Rs 25,000 if she is a non-graduate.
The scheme will be beneficial to those women who were devdasis prior to 1996 and had been residents of the state for at least ten years, sources in the Social Justice Department said.
The government has also decided to institute an award in the name of late Latatai Sakat to individuals and institutions working for the welfare of devdasi women. While the individual will get Rs one lakh and two institutions will get Rs 50,000.
The government has also increased the monetary assistance for books, uniform for children of the devdasis till standard 10. Earlier, it was Rs 370 for a male child and Rs 400 for a girl. Now, it has been hiked to Rs 1,600 for boys and Rs 1,750 for girls.
Similarly, destitute women have been getting financial assistance of Rs 15,000 for their marriage since 2001 and the amount has been increased to Rs 25,000.