JUMLA, Dec 12: Local bodies have launched a campaign to dismantle Chhaupadi sheds in Jumla district.
The local bodies initiated the campaign in partnership with non-governmental organizations in a bid to ending the decades-long ill practice of Chhaupadi, the NGO activists told Republica Online on Thursday.
"The campaign is aimed at ending the ill practice of Chhaupadi. We have realized that this tradition has seriously been hindering the women's development," local activist Kamal Raj Khatri said. Khatri added that the campaign is expected to provide social justice to women and promote women's empowerment.
So far, six villages of Tatotapani rural municipality, 11 villages of Tila rural municipality and four villages of Patarasi rural municipality have already ended the Chhaupadi tradition by dismantling the Chhaupadi sheds. Earlier, Tila rural municipality had unveiled its plan to make it a 'Chhaupadi-free zone' by 2021.
As part of the campaign, representatives of local bodies and NGOs hold discussions with local residents twice a month in the far-flung villages of Jumla district on the woes caused by Chhaupadi. They also run door-to-door campaigns and surveys in the interval of three months in the villages.
During the campaign, the representatives of local bodies and NGOs also raise awareness and collect signatures against Chhupadi in the villages. Finally, the local authorities amid the presence of local activists announce the village 'Chhaupadi free zone'.
The locals have been urged to demolish the menstrual huts where the women are compelled to stay during their periods. Of late, women in the villages have realized that a woman must not be abandoned or banished from home during menstruation as it is a natural cycle.
Staying in Chhaupadi sheds has always been a safety concern for the women in the district. Many go through various kinds of violence and some even have lost their lives in such sheds.