Tanahun women lead funeral procession to end gender stereotype

Published On: November 24, 2017 04:26 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

TANAHUN, Nov 24:  To put an end to the patriarchal thinking, women of Tanahun have carried the dead body to Damauli Ghat for cremation on Friday.

A senior citizen Min Bahadur Basyal, 81, who was living at Vedvyas old-age home based in Chapaghat Vedvyas Municipality-5 for the past five years, passed away on Thursday night.

The body of Basyal was taken away by the women, the members of the same old-age home to the Ghat - crematorium. Bashyal was a confirmed bachelor who had no relatives.

The old-age home was started by a group of women in 2068 B.S. before two years of its official registration in 2070 B.S. where a total of seven senior citizens including four women and three men are residing currently.

Women are carrying a dead body from the very day of the initiation of old age home to break the stereotype that women could not do anything, said Shakuntala Ale, the acting chairman of the old age home.

She further added that it is our duty to look after the senior citizens and to perform their death rituals after their death.

Sharing the similar views with Ale the secretary of the old age home, Nirmala Malla, said, “To put an end to the existing cultural/gender stereotypes that women are inferior to men in the society, without hesitation we have started carrying the dead bodies to the crematorium for final rites with a slogan that “The hands that serve are holier than the lips that pray”.

Women have set a good example by taking the important step to end the social ills. Daughters are no less than sons and can also perform the death rituals, said Ram Kumar Shrestha, an entrepreneur from Damauli.

The operators of the old age home had collected Rs 14 million from a week-long MahaYaggya held back in 2072 B.S. and invested Rs 15 million to buy a house along with the two ropanis of land in the name of old-age home.

At the beginning, the old-age home was started by 15 women and now the number has increased to 320, said Karuna Shrestha,  the treasure of the old-age home.

She further said that the initial days were very hard for us to run the old age home.  “We used to run the age-old home on rented house but now it has its own building.”

Now all the members associated with the old age home have decided to leave a square meal to mourn the demise of the senior citizen Basyal.



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