It's called the Devadasi System. It's a long, old Indian religious tradition.
Little girls are dedicated to the goddess for a few reasons. Most often, it is to make money for their family. Because they are dedicated to the temple/goddess, they are never allowed to get married. One of their duties is to perform sexual favors for the local men. This is their life. Even worse, they are told that it is their duty - their calling. They are married to the religion. They never have a husband. They may have children, but never stability. And they must exploit themselves.
Some are also sold straight into prostitution. They are either unwanted or uncared for. They are just slaves, and they must do what they are told to survive.
I read about this at 15. This broke my heart. It planted a seed in my core, and it's grown into a passion for not only the girls in India, but internationally.
However, the seed is still there, and I still have a heart for girls in India. That is why, eventually, we hope to adopt a little girl from India, specifically, if God provides.
They are in danger, not only because of this religious cult, but because girls are seen as a burden to parents. Sometimes they are abandoned at orphanages, sometimes they are blatantly sold straight into prostitution. Some families even bury their little girls alive.
Again, if you have read my blog, you know that this breaks my heart into a million pieces. Especially the prostitution. Especially the fact that they have no rights. Especially because God calls us to care for those that cannot care for themselves, and not enough people are taking action.
Mary Ellen Mark is a photographer that took pictures of young Indian prostitutes in brothels. Just a warning, if you go look at them, some are explicit (only because they're realistic).
Don't forget to enter the Giveaway with a Heart, especially if this breaks your heart...