Chhaupadi still rampant in Bajura district

Bajura, June 12

Jaula Rokaya, 28, of Himali Rural Municipality, Bajura, had been staying in a shed during menstruation for 13 years until some women activists of her locality demolished the shed a year ago in a bid to declare the village a chhaupadi-free village.

But the situation changed from bad to worse as, after the demolition of her shed, she is now compelled to live in a den near her locality during her periods.

“I did not have much fear staying in a chhau shed, but now I have to stay in a den in the forest putting my life at risk,” regretted Rokaya. She argued that the women leaders demolished the shed in an effort to make the lives of women easier, during menstruation but their efforts had been in vain.

Scores of women in the rural municipality have to stay either in the den or in a plastic tent away from their homes during menstruation.

Belati BK, 36, said that the campaign to make the village chhaupadi-free remained only on paper. “We agreed to demolish the shed after local leaders said they would take action against people who promoted chhaupadi. We are facing serious problems, but these leaders and activists are nowhere to be seen.

As many as seven then VDCs of the district were declared chhaupadi-free zone last year. Women and Children Office Social activist Keshari Rokaya said that the situation was the same due to conservative mindset of the people.

“Though various governmental and non-governmental organisations have been fighting against these ill practices, they have not been able to change people’s mind-set,” regretted Rokaya.

NGO Federation of Nepal Chairperson Kashi BK said many villages in the district had become chhaupadi-free zone only on paper. “The condition of women has become even more pathetic after the demolition of chhaupadi sheds in the district,” said BK.