Girl performs dad’s last rites

Tanahun, April 5:

Kiran Pariyar, a 12-year-old girl, has dared to defy the tradition and is performing the last rites of her father. She is a native of Taruka village in Satswara VDC-9 of Tanahun district and resides in Amarapuri of Byas Municipality 2. Nepali society dictates that only males can perform their parents’ last rites.

Kiran said she chose to perform the last rites of her father to challenge the age-old gender-biased tradition. She was going with her asthmatic father Harka Bahadur Pariyar (57) to Pokhara for his treatment when he expired en route. Harka Bahadur has no sons. Kiran is a Grade VII student of Jaldevi Secondary School.

Kiran’s mother Yugeshwari said she was surprised at Kiran’s courage and decision. Expressing wonder that her youngest daughter had taken such a bold step, Yugeshwari said, “She used to keep coming for food every two hours. But, look at her now, she is fasting without complaining.”

Yugeshwari said three or four persons accompany Kiran at night during the rites. “She wanted to tonsure her head but I did not allow that,” she said. She added that the elder two daughters Sujata and Sarita were married while the third daughter suffers

from hysteria.

Kiran said she opted to perform the last rites to prove that a daughter was no less than a son. Her relatives said she takes a bath in river every morning, carries out the rituals and eats only a little once a day that she prepares for herself separately.