January 19, 2020 11:29 AM NPT
By: DB BUDHA
JUMLA, Jan 19: After the local administration launched a campaign to make the district free of Chhaupadi sheds (menstruation sheds), the region's shamans, too, have started supporting the movement against the "bad practice". They are also against Chhaupadi, which the government has already declared as a bad practice.
Nili Pariyar, a resident of Tila Rural Municipality-1, is the representative of village's clan-deity. The villagers believe that Pariyar removes 'evil energy' from the body. But Pariyar doesn't follow the Chhaupadi practice. Neither does she stay at Chhau sheds during her periods, nor does she allow her family members to follow the practice. She always encourages staying at a safe place during the periods. She also suggests eating healthy food and taking rest during periods.
During an interaction on the 'Chhaupadi practice' organized by Tila Rural Municipality, Pariyar said that menstruation is not a sin. “Menstruation is not a result of any sin. This is a regular process. So the gods don't get angry when a woman gets her periods,” she said, adding that Chhaupadi is a practice followed by society to dominate women.
“The practice should be uprooted from society. It will be a blessing for the women in the region,” she said. When Pariyar was expressing her views at the interaction, all the participants looked surprised. The participants – both men and women – were convinced by Pariyar's views.
She also urged the participants not to stay in sheds during periods. “We [women] should stay in a safe place during menstruation,” she said, adding that women are suppressed due to the bad practice.
Likewise, Dil Maya Shahi (Hamal), another participant of the interaction, said she felt quite relieved after listening to Pariyar. She also urged the participants to stay at safe places during their periods.
According to Durga Banjade, chief district officer of Jumla, the local administration has got support from shamans and priests to make the region free of Chhau sheds. “They [shamans] have shown their commitment to support the government's campaign against Chhaupadi,” she added.
The local administration has had several discussions with shamans and priests of the region, seeking their support to uproot the Chhaupadi practice.
Security officials, shamans, priests, teachers, among other stakeholders of society, participated in the interaction.
The government has already declared Chhaupadi as a bad practice, and has directed the local administration to end it. As per the direction, the local units of Jumla have been working with different non-government organizations (NGOs) to make the region free of Chhau sheds.