Bajura, June 12
Teaching-learning activities often get affected at Janaprakash Basic Level School in Badimalika Rural Municipality, Bajura, due to absenteeism of female teachers during their monthly cycle.
Female teachers here have not been able to reject the discriminatory chhaupadi custom.
The school runs classes up to Grade III, and it has two female and one male teachers. The school’s head teacher Prakash Aide said female teachers do not come to school during menstruation as they have to walk past the Ratudimadu temple on the way to school.
Head teacher Aide said female teachers did not come to school fearing the wrath of god.
Female teachers Nira Bista and Ambika Upadhaya work at the school. The head teacher said the school was sometimes closed if both the female teachers menstruated at the same time and he got engaged in other official works.
Established in 1994, the school has 18 students at present. Aide complained that the teachers did not come to school even though he had given strict instructions.
“The superstitious beliefs of teachers have affected regular studies,” he added.
Asked about their regular absenteeism, Bista said it was not possible to ignore the age-old custom. She said if they walked past the temple during their monthly cycle, the god’s curse would fall upon them and their family members.”
We can quit the job if needed, but cannot make the god angry by abandoning the age-old practice,“ said Bista.
A version of this article appears in print on June 13, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.