AFTER DEATH OF A TEENAGER IN MENSTRUATION, NEPAL CRIMINALISES HINDU PRACTICE CALLED CHHAUPADI

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THE TREATMENT GIVEN TO THE GIRLS DURING THEIR MENSTRUATION CYCLE IS ATROCIOUS IN OUR COUNTRY WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING THEIR SUFFERINGS DURING THOSE DAYS. IN ONE OF SUCH CASE, AFTER THE DEATH OF A TEENAGER, THE NEPAL COURT HAS CRIMINALISED THE HINDU PRACTICE CALLED ‘CHHAUPADI’, THAT BANISHES WOMEN TO TO STAY IN ISOLATED HUTS DURING THEIR PERIODS AND AFTER CHILD BIRTH

In India menstruation is still looked down upon, it’s called ‘impure’. There was study conducted by TATA Institute of Social Science (TISS) in 2016 stating that eight of ten Indian girls are not allowed to enter religious shrines when they are on their periods, six out of ten girls are not permitted to touch the food in the kitchen and, three out of ten are forced to sleep in a separate room. Even today in urban areas women and girls are still facing a lot of restrictions because of this taboo surrounding the periods.

After the death of a teenager in Nepal because of Chhaupadi, women were basically impure during menstruation and were forced to live in isolated huts. The menstruation cycle lasts between ten to eleven days for the first periods; thereafter the duration is reduced to four to seven days every month. Even after childbirth, women who are exhausted and completely drained are forced to stay in a hut for 10 to 11 days.

According to the social tradition, women are considered ‘impure’ on their time of the month and they are made to live outside the house in cattle sheds or makeshift huts.

The teenager died an excruciating death after being bitten by a snake while sleeping in a chhau goth (a temporary hut) last month. The Nepal court has passed a new law on Wednesday that stipulates a three month jail time and 3000 rupees fine on anyone forcing a woman to follow this Hindu tradition.

In 2016 two women died while following the similar ritual, one of them died due to a smoke inhalation after she lit a fire for warmth, while the other death was unexplained. There are many reports that always go unreported without any justice. 

Despite the supreme court passing a judgment on this issue over a decade ago, the practice still continued in parts of Nepal, but finally, the Nepal court has decided to criminalize this ancient Hindu custom on Wednesday.

SOURCE: THE HINDU | NDTV | ALJAZEERA

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