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Chhaupadi:A social ill that needs to be uprooted

  

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

n The initiative taken by local women, by destroying the chhaupadi shed, is commendable. This is a social problem and I am totally against keeping the damsel in a shed like an animal. It is an ill-practice still prevalent in the Far and Mid Western regions of Nepal due to illiteracy. Chhaupadi pratha must be abolished from society. Our mentality should also change. Women should participate in community programmes, conduct awareness programmes, women commissions should also care about social problems. Likewise, wide publicity of existing laws for general public awareness and education, radio, TV, newspaper, students, NGOs and INGOs, social worker have important roles to play. We should unite to solve such social problems.

— Pawan Ram Lamichhane


n Despite thousands of social organisations working for women, children and deprived people, ill-practices like chhaupadi still exist in our country. In my opinion, the agents of God, priest and religious gurus are to be blamed as they have misinterpreted the holy books and their seeds of misinterpretation have led us on a vague path. 2013 is the right time for women to agitate against women violation, as there have been several cases of women violation in south Asian countries.

All my Nepali mothers and sisters, raise your voice against this ill-practice of our society, which has put hurdles on the way of women development.

— Amar Pradhan


n We have heard news about women dying due to the chhaupadi and lately this news about a teenager who died in chhaupadi is a matter to be ashamed of. It is because people are conservative. In our society, social discrimination has bound women to keep quiet and they have adopted it as a rule of our society. Most of the NGOs and INGOS and the related organisations held awareness programme against chhaupadi in different VDCs and rural areas but still we hear deaths of women by snake bites and cold. Therefore, the government should make a legal policy. All the people should think about it to protect women from dying from chhaupadi. It is just made by people and conservative society. Parents, society, related organisations and the government should take responsibility for it.

— Laxman Kumar Pariyar (Das)


n There is no one to blame but our own culture itself. When it comes to chhaupadi, many of far western villages in Nepal are still following it as just another shelter for women especially during their menstruation and post delivery duration. Anthropologists in Nepal suggest chhaupadi as their culture.

Kudos to those who dared to protest against these deep rooted practices in the name of culture recently, though it was late and cost some innocent lives. To stop such ill-practices, educating women is the first priority and then awareness should follow. The government should enforce law regarding women’s rights and form a fast track advocacy body against domestic violence, sexual violence, injustices et cetera. If implemented effectively, certainly these activities will help in women empowerment and make a difference.

— Leela Khanal


n Chhaupadi is one of the ill-practices of our society. With the change in the thinking of people, such ill-practices can be changed. Uneducated people still follow these types of practices. It was our culture years ago because our ancestors were narrow minded. However, today we have to protest against these blind beliefs because we are educated and broad minded to distinguish between wrong and right. Therefore, the action taken by local women by destroying the shed is praise worthy. Protest is necessary to eliminate such practices. The government should declare such practices as illegal. Punishment should be given to those who create such violence against women in the name of culture.

— Kajal Beriwal


n Keeping women in chhaupadi was an old tradition of society, regarding the hygiene of other members of society and was a preventive measure when the optimum facilities were not available. However, time has been changed and so should life be reoriented. The action of local women is obviously praiseworthy but not everyone is convinced, which is the output of frustration and for that our illiterate society, insensible programme of Health Ministry and inefficient awareness programmes launched by different health NGOs/INGOs are the culprits. The real stakeholder’s institutions must be taken into account to fight against such ill-practices of the society.

— Prem Arvind


n Due to widespread superstition and ignorance chhaupadi, badhi, deuki, kamaiyya systems are specifically widespread in the mid-west and far-west regions of Nepal. These practices should be eliminated from

society.

Local women rebelled against chhaupadi by destroying the shed for their welfare. The government should implement rules and launch programmes to raise public awareness. Everyone should know that social problems can be solved through our joint efforts and collaboration. We should start right from our family and community. Whoever goes against this should be discouraged and even penalised legally.

— Aditi Shrestha


n It is sad to hear that ill-practices like chhaupadi is still prevalent in some rural areas of our country despite all those educational and awareness programmes. This step of local women rebelling against chhaupadi by destroying the shed is appreciable. Even though it was a small effort, what matters most is at least they initiated and raised their voice.

These ill-practices are not going to be eliminated overnight, but that does not mean that it is impossible. Until and unless people change their attitude, nothing is going to work. From the government level, enforcing strict laws and implementing continuous educational and awareness programmes could be helpful.

— Retina Shrestha


n Chhaupadi pratha is a centuries old ritual of banishing Nepali women and girls during their monthly menstruation. In conjunction with the brutal temperatures and unsanitary conditions, women are left completely isolated, which brings issues about life threatening situations. The taboo associated with this natural process for women has contributed to a widespread lack of knowledge about physical hygiene and female menstruation, especially in the rural areas of Nepal.

Even though the Supreme Court ordered the government to enact a law “abolishing the practice of chhaupadi” in September 2005, the court rule has been largely ineffective. In March 2011, the Nepali government allocated $15 million to improve public health and sanitation. However, centuries old cultural practices of the Nepali people are difficult to abolish, though local women of Achham rebelled against it by destroying their sheds.

— Kisan


n Rituals and cultural practices are for making life comfortable and disciplined. Chhaupadi is a vivid example of ill-practices existing in our society. I strongly support women for what they did against this custom. No one else but we should dare to come out of these evil practices and support life. I believe education plays a vital role to make people understand ‘right and wrong’. The government and society should pay more attention regarding women education and public awareness. It will also help people to accept new ideas and broaden their view. I do not believe in blaming anyone but appeal to all Nepalis (men and women) to work in unity against such ill-practices and say ‘Yes’ for a healthy and happy life style.

— Sujata Jnawali


n It is doubtful that chhaupadi has religious value, importance and scientific reasons in society. I salute that group of women who dismantled chhaupadi sheds in the community.

— Arjun Prasad Tiwari


n Hats off to the local women who rebelled against chhaupadi. When there is community realisation, then we can certainly eliminate all sorts of ill-practices prevalent in our community. United we stand, divided we fall so, who will dare to go against bad practices when whole community is against it? Ill-practices are deeply rooted in our community. When the community participates in uprooting these ill-practices, no one will never ever find soil to spread its root.

— Suyasha Koirala


n The action of local women against chhaupadi is obviously a good move. Isolation from home, compulsion to live in sheds with foul odour with no proper care is the evil aspects of chhaupadi. Such evil practice needs to be eliminated by carrying out awareness programmes. NGOs should work abreast with INGOs and bring different schemes to discourage chhaupadi. All the authorities concerned need to inculcate the sense of responsibility in them.

— Pratik Pokharel


n Chhaupadi is one of the social evils, where women or girls are isolated from home and family during menstruation. Menstruation is a physical phenomenon. So, I don’t think there should be any system to isolate women during that period.

Painful death of Sharmila Bhusan of Achham is a very heartbreaking incident. I think the action of the local women against chhaupadi system by destroying the sheds is a very effective action because these types of social evils must be eradicated. We should work united to solve it. People should be informed about the hazards of this problem as well as their role towards the solution. It may take some time to change social rules that are deeply rooted in the society but we definitely can kick it out if we all work together.

— Sandhya Dangol


n Chhaupadi is a baseless and disgusting practice which not only makes women physically weak but also mentally and socially. It is a sin committed by the society and is a humiliating act against women. We should be ashamed to hear that even today girls like Sharmila Bhusan are compelled to lose their life due to such practices. I support the action taken by local women. It is not easy to eliminate such practices whose roots are spread deeply in society. Educating every individual and raging a voice against such violence can eradicate such practices. Everyone should know that menstruation is a natural and normal process that every girl has to go through. Girls themselves should play the lead role and men should be supportive in order to eradicate such ill-practices from society.

— Khudang Bijay


n In the 21st century a teenage girl dies in chhaupadi shed shows how backward Nepal is. After this incident local women rebelled against chhaupadi by destroying the shed which shows that they want change and I think with more determination they can definitely eliminate this ill-practice prevalent in Nepali society.

Awareness programmes aimed at the illiterate mass and implementation of strict rules against chhaupadi practice can be helpful. We all know, we live in a society and we ourselves made all the social cultures and practices. We can definitely modify those if we are not comfortable following them. Therefore, we ourselves are responsible for all these ill-practices in society. Until we change our minds, such ill-practices will push us backward

— Meetum Bantawa Rai


n Chhaupadi, a black spot in the modern Nepali society, and an ill practice that has no scientific ground, must be eradicated as soon as possible from our society. For this, women must be aware and ready to fight against such ill-practices. I think the demise of a teenager Sharmila Bhusan must have awakened local women to some extent. This action can be taken as a good sign of women’s movement against chhaupadi and other gender inequalities prevailing in the Nepali society. This small movement of courageous women of Achham must be recognised, saluted and supported by everyone, especially women and feminists, by organising protests and movements in rest of Nepal very soon. It may take some time but it is certain that women will triumph over such ill-practices hence preparing a ground for a prosperous

society.

— Pradeep Aryal


n What people did in Achham was really appreciable and it is an initiation against such ill-practices like chhaupadi. Their action was the outcome of the pain and suffering they have been dealing with since long. People should be taught that menstruation is just a normal biological process.

NGO’S and INGO’S should launch effective programmes in the target region regarding eliminating those practices. We see activists chanting sweet words in front of huge crowd in five star hotels but they really don’t bother to go and observe such practices. If the uneducated crowd in the rural parts of the country is made aware, that would be a milestone for eliminating such ill-practices. An individual alone cannot bring radical change, but a group of people can.

— Rajiv Sapkota


n I think the reaction of the local women in Achham was the realisation and reply towards extreme dominance by their culture and society. It is their anger towards the ill system of the patriarchal society and a step towards liberation of women. Such incidents are still prevalent in many remote areas in Nepal where women are not treated as humans. Just because of the sick view of the society, women are exploited and excluded. As an answer to the blind society like ours, these women should initiate to unite and fight for themselves. They should also be aware of what this ill-culture is doing to them and should take initiatives to end such practices. It is a rewarding act conducted by the women in Achham. They should be encouraged to end other such practices in society.

— Mridu Adhikari


n It’s high time that local women of Achham stepped up against chhaupadi. Their action is praiseworthy at a time when the so called Women Welfare Organisations have only restricted their activities to mere speeches and nothing more. Compelling someone to live in such sheds just because they go through menstruation is simply lack of education and blindfolded continuation to the age old

malpractice.

Such ill-practices can be eliminated from society through intensive public awareness campaigns and above all educating the conservative minded people. It is said ‘Charity Begins At Home’ so each of us are responsible to make sure such ill-practices come to an end in our neighbourhood.

— Darshan Neupane


n Keeping girls in chhaupadi sheds during her first menstruation itself symbolises the absurdity. I mean it is a natural phenomenon that every girl faces during her fertility span. I don’t think making it a big issue is a good idea. It’s a superstition which can only be eliminated by people’s participation. Recently women started the campaign against the chhaupadi system which is an outstanding work. It’s time to strangle the superstition and move on. At last, hats off to those women for doing a superb job to uproot the chhaupadi out of our society.

— Rajan Sah


n During menstruation, women are compelled to stay in a shed far from home. This practice is deeply rooted in the remote regions of Nepal. This evil law made by patriarchal society is difficult to destroy and eradicate completely. After the incident of Sharmila Bhusan’s death in Achham, local women revolted against chhaupadi by destroying the sheds. This is a good start. Moreover, to remove this system totally, we must be patient. We make the rules and we have the right to destroy those too. Chhaupadi was created by the society and it can be destroyed. For this, it is necessary to educate the society.

— Ganesh Thapa


n Women of our county are bound by different unethical and superstitious beliefs. Ill-practices like chhaupadi is a curse on our society and the country. The action taken by the people of Achham is appreciable. It shows their anger and anguish towards the long superstitious traditional belief. It also highlights that the problem of a particular place or region can only be solved with the involvement of the people of that

locality.

We can eliminate such ill-practices by providing proper education to the females of the country. We should make them aware about their rights and also motivate them to get it. To make them economically strong, they should be provided a job. I neither blame the government nor the social organisation because it is a time when we are not given rights but we have to take it.

— Roshan Tiwari


n Chhaupadi — a dangerous practice isolates woman during and after childbirth and during menstruation too. They are banished for 11 days away from family members, causing critical danger and increasing complications that leads to maternal and child mortality. This type of old and unreasonable practice should be totally abolished. Huge awareness programmes must be launched in those regions and government should formulate and implement strict laws against those who practice chhaupadi. And women of Achham already have started the revolution against chhaupadi by destroying the sheds.

— Rasbin Rijal


n In my opinion, the action taken by local women against the system of chhaupadi by destroying the sheds is really praiseworthy and also a needful decision taken by them. Such type of system where women going through menstrual period are forcefully made to live in a shed is not good and it must be brought to an end everywhere in the Nepali society. In order to end such type of evil practices, social awareness should be a must that will be helpful to change the mindset of the public. The social system is mainly responsible for it as many Nepalis are illiterate due to which such types of malpractices get encouragement. Hence, education plays a vital role in order to do away with those malpractices.

— Pratik Shrestha

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