Sangita and Sarala performing the final rites of their mother.
DHADING, May 7: Going against the Hindu tradition, which bars females from performing the final rites of their parents, two daughters in Dhading have lit the funeral pyre of their mother.
As per the practice, only sons have the right to cremate their parents. Sangita Duwadi, 21, and her seventeen-year-old sister Sarala of Nilkantha Municipality-3, Dhadingbesi, the district headquarters of Dhading, performed the last rites of their mother. They originally hail from Jwalamukhi Rural Municipality-4.
Bhagwati Duwadi, 41, wife of Bishwaram Duwadi, chairperson of the Federation of Nepal Small and Cottage Industries, Dhading as well as the working committee member of Dhading Chamber of Commerce and Industry, died of cancer on April 30.
As the daughters decided to take on the responsibility, all the other members of the family accepted their decision. As a proud father, Bishwaram uploaded a picture of his daughters on Facebook appreciating their courage and bravery.
"Thank you, my lovely daughters for breaking the traditional stereotype and taking the responsibility of performing the final rites of your mother all by yourselves. I hope this will set an example that no daughter is less than a son," Bishwaram wrote along with the photo. Many people have praised the girls for taking such a bold step.
Elder daughter Sangita stated that they took the decision to challenge the gender-based discrimination widely prevalent in the society. "While raising us, our parents gave us the same love and care that others give to sons," said Sangita, adding," We can do everything that a son can. That is why we made this decision."
Except from shaving their head bald, they performed all the rituals required for cremation.
Even now, daughters performing the death rituals of parents is considered unusual in our society. Sangita is currently pursuing her Bachelor's degree while her sister Sarala is an eleventh grader.