BAJURA, Jan 19: Jaya Lal Rokaya, a shaman of Agaupani, spent half of his life believing in various kinds of superstitions associated with Chhaupadi. He was one of those people who would not even look at a woman during five days of her periods.
He used to hate anyone who would allow female members of their family to stay at home during menstruation. People who know him well had never imagined that the same shaman would one day give away all his misconceptions and demolish chhaugoths.
He had a change of heart after Agaupani village witnessed the death of a mother and her two sons when the Chhaupadi shed they were sleeping in caught fire. This incident not just changed his perspectives but also compelled him to demolish such sheds around his area.
Following his footsteps, another shaman Hari Lal Rokaya also started demolishing such sheds. Both of these shamans were actively involved in demolishing nine chhaugoths of Agaupani.
Ward chief Khadak Bohora says the involvement of shamans in discouraging this ill practice is a positive sign. Meanwhile, social activist Nira Bohara informed that the chhaugoth's at the house of Riuli Rokaya, Jay Lal Rokaya, Kitti Rokaya, Tula Rokaya, Lwar Dal Dhami, Gopi Dhami, Hari Lal Rokaya, Tulsi Bohora, Kar Bahadur Bohora were demolished with the help of these two shamans.
These shamans have promised to allow every woman to sleep at their own home even when they are menstruating. Shrishti Regmi, deputy mayor of Budinanda Municipality expressed her happiness to see the proponents of Chhaupadi themselves destroying the sheds. The municipality had publicized a notice instructing all to demolish such sheds within ten days. Not just that, the notice also stated that those practicing or promoting Chhaupadi would be deprived of government services and will be subjected to stern action.
Following the notice, more than 60 chhaugoths have been destroyed in the local unit so far. According to police, there are more than 1,200 menstruation huts in the district.
Committee formed for the formulation of work plan
Budinanda Municipality has formed a committee for the formulation of work plan to abolish Chhaupadi. Deputy Mayor Shristi Regmi has been appointed as the coordinator of the five-member committee. The committee has been asked to submit the work plan within 15 days. Similarly, an investigation committee has been formed in each ward with the coordination of ward chief and police officials.