BAJURA, April 29: Rajali, the part of Badimalika-3 in Bajura district (Province 7) is to be declared the zone free from chhaugoth (makeshift hut meant for the shelter of menstruating women and new mothers).
The practice of chhaupadi (a social tradition that banishes menstruating women and new mothers from home, sending them to makeshift huts or cattle sheds as they are considered impure and thus untouchable) is still pervasive in the district, despite its criminalization by the government last year. They are barred from taking part in normal family activities for certain days.
Preparations are underway to declare Rajali the chhaugoth -free zone on coming May 3, said Badimalika Municipality's deputy mayor Kabita Bista. This practice has been modified and women in monthly cycle have started living within the house, she added.
Local priests and shamans have been mobilized to raise public awareness on the negative impact of the chhaupadi practice. Such people, who are considered as promoters of chhaupadi, have expressed their readiness to contribute to the anti-chhaupadi campaign.
An orientation programme was held for them yesterday. Priest Ram Bahadur Khadka had himself demolished a makeshift meant for the stay of his wife, daughters, and daughters-in-law during menstruation. Now the family lives together during the periods of female members. Khadka said he was convinced not to send female members of the family to chhaugoth by the local government and various organisations working against this harmful practice.
Shaman Bal Bahadur Rawal announced that onwards he would not send females members of his family to a makeshift hut during menstruation and after childbirth.
The Badimalika Municipality, ward office and an NGO called Sahas Nepal are working collectively to end the Chhaupadi practice here.RSS