Kanchaupur (RSS ) : The Chhaupadhi custom, a harmful Hindu practice that banishes women from the home during menstruation forcing them to stay in an isolated but or cowshed, is still pervasive in Kanchanpur despite its criminalisation last year.
Women also seem not ready to violate this long ‘ill-practice’ due to various reasons. It is (wrongly) believed that if a woman during the monthly period stays at home, it would bring bad luck to the family and anger the deities and is itself a sinful act.
Women here have long been enduring inhumane treatment in the name of this tradition. A woman in the post-natal state is also forced to stay away from home as per the Chhaupadi custom. Women are banned from entering the house doing household works and are deprived of nutrition food and milk products during menstruation. They are forced to do heavy work outside home.
Deputy Mayor of Shuklaphanta Municipality Tulsa Hamal believed that stereotypical thinking ,superstition, religious biasness, lack of public awareness, gender discrimination and lack of effective policies are behind the continuity of this harmful social practice. Home is the first place from where it must be removed. Relatively, the range of isolation has decreased. Many families allow mensttruating women to stay separately inside the house and to sleep on a bed, but this was possible after tremendous efforts.
“They must take a bath in the river even in the chilling cold as they are not allowed to touch the taps,” she said.
Similarly, Jaba Devi Kami said that they were compelled to spend the whole night in fear of attacks by wild animals as they have to sleep in a but that lies far from the house.
The daughters-in-law must face the pains of chhaupadi from their own mother-in-law. sister-in-law as compared to their father-in-law, husband and brother-in-law.
There is an old tradition that a female who is having a period should not attend any religious and social activity or that she should not go to a temple and its surrounding areas. She even should not comb her hair. take a bath for three days. Chairperson of ward No II of Shuklaphanta Municipality. Dil Bahadur Budha. said that although women leaders in the social sector have demolished the chhauaoth (the huts where the women undergoing their monthly period). discrimination of the daughter-in-law in the name of menstruation is still on.
“It will help remove such practices if positive thinking can be developed in the society,” said administrative officer of Shuklaphanta Municipality. Sher Bahadur Budha.
Likewise, MayorDilBahadurAine stressed the need of running educational and health-related programmes to wipe out such practices. He said that pressure-exening programmes would be launched to give justice to the women. who have been compelled to live as second-class people due to the chhaupadi practice.
Mayor Airee said that they were determined to launch a programme to demolish the chhaupadi along with creating public awareness simultaneously. Although an act regarding punishment and fines has been proposed to make chhaupadi a crime, it has not been issued yet.
A three-month imprisonment. Rs 3.000 fine or both have been provisioned in the Act to replace the Civil Code if anyone gives recognition to the chhaupadi practice.
Domestic Violence (Crime and Punishment) Act-2066 has a legal provision that says no one can cause physical. mental, financial and sexual violence to anyone. but action has not been taken against anyone under this so far.
Establishing an equitable society by wiping out the chhaupadi practice has been mentioned in the objective of the Chhaupadi Eradication Directives-2064.