The Government will look into the demand of the Karnataka State Devadasi Mahilayara Vimochana Sanghatane to relax the age limit of 45 for the pension scheme for Devadasis, Women and Child Welfare Minister C.C. Patil has said. The Government will also consider increasing their monthly pension from Rs. 400 to Rs. 1,000.

K. Neela, president of the Karnataka State Devadasi Mahilayara Vimochana Sanghatane, who is also vice-president of the State unit of the Janawadi Mahila Sanghatane (JMS), said here on Thursday that these assurances were made during a high-level meeting of government officials and a JMS delegation in Bangalore on February 7.

Ms. Neela said that in the meeting, the delegation requested the Minister to help them get approval for the 2007-08 Devadasi survey. They also asked for the speedy rehabilitation of the identified Devadasis.

The Minister said that the survey had identified the presence of 24,000 Devadasis in the State and the report was under consideration of the Finance Department. Mr. Patil said he would ensure that the department gives its approval soon. She said the delegation also pressed for the sanctioning of at least 2 acres of agricultural land to the selected Devadasis as part of the rehabilitation programme.

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