Bajura, February 2
A team of Parliament members has arrived in Bajura to carry out a field study of chhaupadi.
The team reached here following the unfortunate death of a mother and her two sons inside achhau shed a few weeks ago.
The team is led by the co-coordinator of parliamentary Sub-committee for Women and Social Development Ganesh Singh Thagunna.
Lal Bahadur Thapa, Amrita Thapamagar, Ganga Chaudhary, Bimala Nepali, Ruhinaz Mikrani are the other members.
The team arrived here on Thursday and held an interaction on chhau tradition and its impact with the people’s representatives of local levels, heads of security agencies, NGO representatives, women and girls.
“Aschhaupadi is mostly practised in Far-west and Karnali provinces, we are here for a field study,” said lawmaker Amrita Thapamagar.
Speaking at the discussion, lawmaker Ganga Chaudhary said they had directed the police administration to take action against those who were found practising chhaupadiand forcing others to do so. Lawmaker Lal Bahadur Thapa, who represents Bajura, said the local level government and the local leaders should be more active to stop such ill practices.
Lawmaker Mikrani expressed concern regarding the increasing cases of gender-based violence in a society that worships women as goddesses.
Likewise, MP Bimala Nepali said dismantling chhau shed would not solve the problem, people must change their mentality. The team of parliamentarians is holding open discussion and interaction with the stakeholders in the district headquarters Martadi.
Chhaupadi is linked to Hinduism and considers women untouchable when they menstruate, as well as after childbirth. They are banished from the home — barred from touching food, religious icons, cattle and men — and forced to sleep in basic huts known as chhaugoth.
A version of this article appears in print on February 03, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.