KATHMANDU, Jan 19: A week after the deaths of a mother and her two sons in a 'chaugoth' (menstruation shed) in Bajura district, a parliamentary committee has decided to pay a field visit to inquire about the incident.
A meeting of the parliament's Women and Social Committee on Thursday formed a team to study the deaths and the causes behind the failure to eliminate the practice. They will spend six days (Jan 24-29) in the district. Lawmaker Ganesh Singh Thagunna has been nominated the coordinator of the team while the other members of the committee are Bimala Nepali, Ganga Chaudhary, Amrita Thapa and Ruhinaj Mikrani and committee secretary Hridayaram Maharjan.
The team will collect information on what actions did the local administration take following the incident, situation of awareness among the locals, reasons behind the existence of Chhaupadi and difficulties in enforcing the law among other issues.
Earlier, the committee had summoned Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizens, Tham Maya Thapa, ministry secretary and home secretary, among others, to inquire about the status of Chhaupadi and government initiatives to curb it.
Stating that no one has been arrested or tried for forcing women and girls to practice Chhaupadi since the Criminal Code criminalized the practice last year, the parliamentary committee has directed the ministry concerned to make people aware about the new law.
The parliamentary committee has also directed the NGO Federation to coordinate with the local governments for effective mobilization of NGOs working on the issue and also directed the Social Welfare Council (SWC) to evaluate their activities.