Flood dampens Teej fervor of Rolpali women

Published On: August 24, 2017 04:22 AM NPT By: Dinesh Subedi

ROLPA, August 24: Unlike every year, women living in the district headquarters and around Rolpa won't get the opportunity to gather and dance together to celebrate their greatest festival, Teej, this year. 

Tundikhel, a common place where Hindu women from various villages of Rolpa used to gather and observe Teej, has been inundated by a recent flood. Even after so many days, the ground is still waterlogged and muddy.  This has worried the Hindu women who have been long waiting to get along with their friends and socialize during the festival.
Some people have used Tundikhel as a parking area which has further worsened the condition of the ground. There is no other open area in the district headquarters for celebration. 

"This was the only place where all of us could sing, dance, eat and share our happiness but this time it seems like we will have to do it in the road as there is no other place," laments Shree Kumari Roka, a woman activist in Rolpa. 

Tundikhel carries great importance for the woman here as they even used to conduct puja during Rishi Panchami in the same ground before the conflict period. Later, they started doing the rituals at their own home. According to the women, the metropolis should have taken efforts to clean the ground considering the importance of this festival. 

"Since I got married in 1979, every year I used to get an opportunity to meet with my friends and relatives here in this ground," said Tulasa Acharya, another woman activist.
This festival offers a chance to the women to enjoy by putting their hectic schedules aside. Women assembled in their best red garments and jewelries dance along with the lively songs of Teej forgetting all their pain and stress. This is the only time when women even in the rural parts get to enjoy their freedom and celebrate their womanhood.

However, the deadly flood struck few weeks ago has made their festive mood a bit sour.
However, many women are determined to celebrate this festival anyhow no matter it is in the roads or streets. "It may not be appropriate to celebrate in the roads but it's our greatest festival and we don't want to miss it," added Acharya.

Women here have accused the local representatives of neglecting women's rights by not cooperating with them to celebrate their biggest festival.  

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