Woman dies after snakebite in menstruation shed

June 13, 2018 05:30 AM Khamma Chhetri


In the last one decade, 13 girls and women have died in chhaugoths due to various reasons in Achham district alone.

ACHHAM, June 13: Parbati Budha, 18, of Jayagaun in Turmakhand Rural Municipality who was in isolation in a shed near their farm during menstruation, has died of snakebite on Saturday.

When the family members, who were away in their main house in the village, learnt that she had died from snakebite, they didn't bother to inform the police and buried the body, according to locals.

According to Radhika Budha, who was also menstruating and was staying in chhaugoth (a shed for menstruating women) along with Parbati, a snake had fallen from the ceiling on Parbati at around 1 am and she screamed.

"When I checked, I found that the snake had bitten her in the left hand," Radhika said. "I got some water and washed the wound and then we slept," she added.

But in the morning, Radhika found Parbati lying unconscious. "When I called her name, she just moved her head a bit," Radhika narrated.

The chhaugoth was far away from the house where Parbati's family lived. It had already been late when the family members learnt about the incident. She died in lack of timely treatment, according to Radhika.

According to Prem Kala, the elder sister of the deceased, it was the fourth day of her menstruation and she was supposed to return home the next morning. "When we reached there, she had already passed away," a grief-stricken Prem Kala said.

The government criminalized the practice of isolating menstruating women in chhaugoth about a year ago and many people have pulled down their chhaugoths, but many people still practise it.

Parbati was a 10th grader at the local Bishwa Jyoti Secondary School.

According to Kabiram Budha, ward 4 chairman of the rural municipality, he learnt about the sad death on Sunday morning and he himself had advised the family to bury the body. "Everyone said that she died due to snake bite, so I told them to bury her," Budha admitted.

Prem Kala meanwhile stated that all locals were for burying the body without delay as they thought that 'the matter should not be publicized'. "Villagers did it hastily and in a hush-hush manner since the death had occurred in chhaugoth," said Prem Kala.

The family also burnt the chhaugoth on Monday.

According to a local Shivaraj Neupane, police had reached the spot only on Tuesday. They collected the information about the incident and left.

Although the government criminalized the practice of isolating menstruating women in chhaugoth about a year ago, many people have pulled down their chhaugoths, but many people still practise it. In the last one decade, 13 girls and women have died in chhaugoths due to various reasons in Achham district alone.

                                    


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