Nepal | August 11, 2020

Woman, her sons sleeping in chhaupadi suffocate in Bajura

Prakash Singh
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BAJURA: A woman and her two sons sleeping in chhau shed, were found dead in Budhinanda Municipality-9 of Bajura district this morning.

The deceased have been identified as Amba Bohora (35) of Aghaupani area, her nine-year-old son Suresh Bohora and seven-year-old Ramit Bohora.

The trio wrapped in a blanket was reportedly found dead in their bed at around 7:00 am today. It has been learned that Amba was sleeping with her two sons sharing the blanket in the shed during her menstruation.

According to ward chair Khadak Bohora, the mother and her children may have suffocated by smoke after the blanket they were using to warm themselves caught fire while they were asleep.

Meanwhile, a team under the command of Bajura District Police Chief, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Uddhav Singh Bhat, at the DPO has reached the incident site for inspection, the ward chair informed.

Women in far-western districts are forced to bear the brunt of bone-biting cold due to chhaupadi practice that banishes them from their homes and compels them to sleep in sheds during menstruation.

Chhaupadi was outlawed by the Supreme Court of Nepal in 2005, but the practice continues in some remote places of western Nepal.

In Bajura, Achham, Bajhang and Doti, among other hilly districts of the Far-west Province, chhaupadi is still commonly practised.

A belief that staying at home during menstruation will displease the gods and bring misfortune is deep-rooted even among educated girls.

Unmarried menstruating girls are usually compelled to stay in chhaupadi for seven days while married women have to stay for five days, as per traditional customs.

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