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Amazing History of Deuki Pratha

Deuki pratha is the system of offering a girl child to the temple to collect religious merits. According to Wikipedia, parents generally offer 5 to 6 years old child to the temple. Some wealthy parents buy other poor child to earn merit by offering to the temple. After dedication, the Deuki has to spend whole life in the temple by taking care of the temple. She has to live on the offerings offered by worshippers.

Deuki is deprived of many rights like marriage, education, etc. It is believed that sexual relationship with Deuki can lead to religious advantages. So Deukis are physically exploited by priests and worshippers. Though the country code of Nepal 2020 BS has clearly banned prostitution on the basis of any custom and tradition, this system is still alive in the society. Illegal children born from Deuki hardly can get citizenship. Deuki pratha has been formally eradicated by the government of Nepal. However, there is still sign of this custom in western and far western development region of Nepal. NGO like Jandesh has played a vital role to abolish this system by rehabilitating the Deukis. However there are still around 350 Deukis in Nepal. This system is declining day by day due to the impact of education and also some Deukis are eloping from the temples.
girl-child

There is interesting historical background behind Deuki Pratha. According to an online forum, in 17th century, the Doti state of Nepal faced several problems like natural calamities and epidemics. Some religious priests suggested that if the king of Doti, Nagi Malla offered his daughter to the temple of Bageshor Mahadev, the problem would be solved. Then after king Nagi Malla offered his daughter to the temple. His daughter spent whole life in the temple. In this way the Deuki system emerged in the society.

Several stories have been created on the basis of Deuki Pratha. There is also a movie ‘Deuki’ in Nepalese film industry which advocates for the rights of the Deukis in Nepal. According to the survey the number of Deukis has increased from 1992 to 2010. But now a day this number has decreased due to the impact of high education and strict law as well as successful role of the NGO.
Discovered by Don Prince

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