We are YES SHE RISES
Yes She Rises is working toward independence and empowerment of devadasi women and girls trapped within the tradition of religious servitude. We are a voluntary organization. We are about bringing change.
about the Founder
I am an interdisciplinary artist-activist. My present work addresses the Devadasi (servant of god) tradition in Karnataka, India.
I first learnt about the practice in 2008. It was disturbing to know that young Dalit (untouchable) girls are still being sold to the highest bidder. In 2012, I received a response from the legendary activist, the late Lavanam Gora of Samskar. I travelled to meet him, and former devadasis Samskar rescued in the 80’s. It took me another three years to connect with the devadasis in Karnataka. I visited devadasi group in four villages near Hospet. There are still over 2000 devadasis in Hospet who need help.
With devadasi Devamma and Yellamma
I learned from former devadasis at MASS, Belgaum how they freed themselves and others from this tradition with the help of MYRADA and foreign aid. But I witnessed a contrasting scenario in poverty-stricken villages near the UNESCO world heritage center, Hampi. The Devadasi tradition is still very much alive there. No major help, foreign or local, ever reached in these villages.
The young mothers I met, are determined to change their lives but they see little hope. Many are in their twenties and thirties.
Why women & girls
Girls are strong
An educated girl can change the world. But daughters of devadasis lack support of a safe home and education.
women are rising
Create an opportunity for her. Take action. Teach her to read, write, and have a skill to be free of the Devadasi Tradition.
Our first film
Below is an excerpt from our documentary Devadasi_NOW. The film is available for screening at your institution, town or community. Devadasi_NOW has received an OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD at CICFF 2018 and have been selected in other film festivals. You can also receive a blu-Ray copy of the film for supporting the project. For more details please visit Yes She Rises on Fractured Atlas
Meet Our Team
Volunteers, associates, advisors
Indrani Nayar-Gall is a professional artist and former professor. She has been working on the plight of devadasis for the past ten years. Her work and film explore the problems of the Devadasi tradition.
Shyama Parui is an ardent writer. She holds an MA in Industrial Organizational Psychology and an MA Counseling. Shyama brings empathy and deep understanding of human behavior to Yes She Rises.
Tuhin is an upcoming photographer and cinematographer. He graduated from Techno India University majoring in Film Studies and Production. He has worked in a number of productions.
Bijoy is a professional video editor. He graduated from National Institute of Film and Fine Arts, Kolkata, India majoring in film. He has worked on numerous projects and on the National Television channel.
T Narayan, Vimukthi ATMS
Mr. T. Narayan, the team leader of our ground force, has been working with us from the inception of the project. He is the program manager of Vimukthi ATMS, conducting the empowerment project for us.
Our newly formed youth team
Stuti Chegoori, team leader (top right), Ritushree Dutta (bottom left), Ananya Ramesh (top left), Sree Pasumarthi (bottom right)
Our advisors and outreach team
J J Foundation
Raj Kulgod Raghunadhak Kotha
Barbados (Int'l) Outreach
P. Mythili Nanduri
Kalpita Sen, Raj Banerjie Sudeshna Hazra
With 90% of the raised budget, we launched the empowerment project on October 28, 2018. The project is now nearly complete. We hope to complete the project in January.
Since 2016 we have gathered 75 supporters and raised $19,600.00. While this figure is not sufficient for the project, we intend to begin regardless.
We shot a feature length documentary toward the end of the project launch. Smaller budget forced us to cut corners to some extent. But we are excited and hoping to release the film in early 2020.