Shonali's online fundraiser for Enterprise Development | Milaap
This is a supporting campaign. Contributions made to this campaign will go towards the main campaign.
I am fundraising to help former Devadasi women start their own businesses and become financially independent and secure.
of $1,000
29 supporters
  • Shonali

    Created by

    Shonali Burke


I was born into a wonderful, forward-thinking Indian family that was (and is) full of strong women, who were never told what they "could" or "couldn't" do with their lives. The women in my family have always stood for freedom, whether literally as activists for Indian Independence, or philosophically through the pursuit of their own educational and career aspirations. This spirit of freedom was instilled in me as a young child, and which I carry to this day.
When Milaap signed on as my client (necessary disclosure), I was astounded to learn that the Devadasi ("servant of God") system - which I thought had died out - is still alive and well.
As I learned more about their work, my heart broke for women like Mahananda, who is a 34-year-old survivor of this system, which robs women of their independence and freedom. Essentially this practice, which binds women from a young age to a life of servitude to their temple deity, often sees them forced into trafficking, and their hopes and dreams - and those of their children - are doomed.
It makes me proud to work and stand hand-in-hand with Milaap to bring awareness of this system and empower women like Mahananda to break free of this system. In Mahananda's case, she's been able to start a tailoring business, which will make her self-sufficient and able to give her two daughters a good education.
I would really appreciate it if you would help me help women like Mahananda; there are more than a quarter million of them. A small loan from you (not a donation, but a loan which will be repaid to you once the term has matured) will go a long way in freeing women like Mahananda, and literally make the world a better place.

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