Nepal’s “living goddess” gets a pay rise

Nepal has increased the monthly stipend it gives its “living goddess” by a quarter, a top official said on Thursday, to help the schoolgirl revered by thousands of Hindus and Buddhists beat double-digit inflation.

The girl called Kumari is considered holy and is an attraction for the many tourists who visit the Himalayan nation every year, Reuters reports.

Critics of the centuries-old Kumari tradition say the girl is denied basic human rights as she cannot lead a normal life during the time she serves as the “goddess.”

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This post was last updated: Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 4:53 PM, Central European Time (CET)