PM concerned about death of woman in cow shed

Kathmandu, November 19

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal today called chief district officer of Achham to express his concern about the death of a woman, who died while sleeping in a cow shed in Timalsena village of Achham district in far-western Nepal.

In far-western districts of Bajhang, Bajura, Accham and Doti districts, people, out of superstition, segregate their female members during their menstruation period. This practice is called Chhaupadi.

Although the malpractice was outlawed by the Supreme Court in 2005, it is still in practice in far-western districts.

According to a press release issued by the PM’s Secretariat, the PM called Achham’s Chief District Officer Kushal Raj Sharma and enquired about the death of 21-year-old Dambara Upadhyay in a cow shed.

The PM also told the CDO to immediately call a stakeholders’ meeting and carry out public awareness programmes against the Chhaupadi tradition.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare Narayan Prasad Kafle told THT that the ministry had been continuously running awareness programmes in far-western districts to raise awareness against Chhaupadi and there had been marked improvement in the situation in the recent years.

“But we have not been able to achieve 100 per cent result in the far-western districts,” Kafle said, adding that the ministry would continue its efforts to raise awareness in the area against Chhaupadi. He said the minister was also considering to enact law to penalise families that allow the malpractice. He said fighting against the malpractice would not be difficult as international agencies were ready to help the government combat the problem.