Menstruating women still banished to sheds in 'Chaupadi-free' Jumla

Published On: December 27, 2018 03:00 AM NPT By: DB BUDHA

JUMLA, Dec 27: Bishnumaya Tiwari of Sija Rural Municipality still has to sleep in cowshed during five days of her period. Though health workers keep suggesting women to get rest and eat healthy food, Bishnumaya laments that the burden of work increases further during such time.

"From donors to government workers, all are engaged in awareness programs to abolish the ill tradition of Chaupadi but in vain,” she said.

According to her, menstruating women does not just have to deal with physical pain and mental stress but also have to take responsibility of work. As Jumla is one of the most backward and remote areas of the country, many people are still not aware that the practice they follow is wrong.

In reports presented by NGOs and INGOs, Jumla has already been declared Chaupadi-free. But in reality, this ill tradition is deeply rooted and widely prevalent here.

"This won't change until the perspective and mentality of people changes," said Bishnumaya.

Despite knowing that they are supposed to take rest, women in Jumla still perform backbreaking tasks, as they have no option.

"Millions of rupees poured by the donors and government have been wasted as their awareness programs have not been effective in all places," she added.

Sharmila BK of Chulel says women have to suffer from headache, fever, common cold and weakness during menstruation. Even though women are not allowed to enter their homes during periods, they are supposed to do outdoor tasks, which are more difficult and challenging. This might invite critical health problems in future.

"We have to carry fodder, timber and also engage ourselves in digging fields which make us lethargic," said BK.

As per the health workers, a large number of girls and women of Jumla suffer from various health problems. This has a lot to do with their eating and working habits during periods.

It is not that the locals units are not conducting awareness programs but that has not been effective at all.

Women here are waiting for the time when their family members will no longer fear god to allow them at home while menstruating.


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