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Bare-Chested Girls In Madurai Temple Ritual, 'Worshipped' Like Goddesses

Madurai:  Young girls forced to live bare-chested at a temple in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai as part of a bizarre ritual have been spared more indignity after the administration ordered today that they should be allowed to cover their bodies.

Seven girls decked up like goddesses, with only jewellery to cover their chest, spend 15 days in the care of a male priest as part of the ritual. Only girls who haven’t reached puberty are sent to the temple.
 

bare chested chennai girls

The authorities ordered that the girls at Madurai temple should be allowed to cover their bodies

“It is an ancient custom…Parents send their girls voluntarily,” said Madurai collector K Veera Raghava Rao, who ordered clothes for the girls to ensure they were not harassed or abused.

He asserted, however, that a team of officials investigated and found no abuse of children at the temple.

More than 60 villages that participate in the ritual worship the girls like goddesses. The Collector has instructed these communities to ensure that the girls are fully covered.