Nepal: 'Living Goddesses' will enjoy children's rights

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{image-Living goddesses_19082008.jpg}Kathmandu, Aug 19: Nepal's Supreme Court has said that all Kumaris (living goddesses) should be allowed to enjoy children's rights at par with other children. "There are no historic and religious documents that say Kumaris should be denied their child rights guaranteed in the Convention on the Rights of the Child," The Kathmandu Post quoted the court as saying in a judgment upholding the rights of the living goddess.

The Kumari, meaning literally virgin in Nepali language, is part of Newari religion and culture in Kathmandu Valley.

Kumaris are a prepubescent girls selected from the Shakya family of the Nepalese Newari community. They are revered and worshiped by some of the country's Hindus as well as the Nepali Buddhists as a source of supreme power.

Kumaris traditionally retire when they reach the age menstruation, receiving an allowance from government.

The judgment passed by Justice Bal Ram KC and Tap Bahadur Magaron Monday was in response to public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Pundevi Maharjan three years ago.


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