Chhaupadi takes away 15-year-old girl's life in Achham

BAJURA: A 15-year-old girl was found dead at a Chhaupadi shed in Gagra of Achham district on Sunday.

Police identified the deceased as Roshani Tiruwa.

Chhaupadi is a social custom of keeping menstruating girls and women in a narrow shed outside their houses and depriving them of basics of life with a belief that gods would be angry if they were allowed to stay inside home during the monthly periods.

The victim's father Bharat Tiruwa said the girl did not respond the wake-up call from the parents and the family had turned suspicious over her health.

He further said the daughter had gone to collect the fodders for cattle a day before. She was a ninth grader at the local Rastra Bhasha Secondary School.

However, a police officer investigating into the case said the incident was due to suffocation as the Chhaupadi shed was too congested.

The smoke caused by the fire took away the girl's life as she had made the fire to keep herself warm, said Police Inspector Badri Prasad Dhakal.

Women's Development Officer of the district, Bhagawati Aryal, said more than 10 girls and women lost their lives since 2006.

Though more than 31 VDCs in the district have been declared the Chhaupadi free zone, girls and women in the district continue the tradition, according to police.