Former goddesses to get pension in Nepal

Tuesday 14 January 2014 23.20
The living goddess lives in a palace-temple in ancient Kathmandu's Durbar Square
The living goddess lives in a palace-temple in ancient Kathmandu's Durbar Square

Nepal's former Kumaris, girls worshipped as living goddesses in a centuries-old tradition, are to be awarded a pension to help them readjust to normal life, an official said today.

Ten former Kumaris will receive the monthly allowance of 10,000 Nepalese rupees (€74) from July for the next ten years.

Kathmandu Metropolitan City chief executive officer Laxman Aryal said: "Although most of the Kumaris come from well-to-do families, they miss a vital period of their lives and often lag behind in our increasingly competitive society."

The council made the decision this week as part of efforts to help the girls, who are worshipped as goddesses, but lose their special status once they reach puberty.

The tradition has continued despite the end of the Shah monarchy in 2008.

The living goddess lives in a palace-temple in ancient Kathmandu's Durbar Square and is a major attraction for foreign tourists.

In 2008, Nepal's Supreme Court ruled the living goddess should be educated.

The girls are now taught inside the palace where they live and are allowed to sit their exams there.

Keywords: nepal, kumaris
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