THT 10 years ago: Drive against Chhaupadi bearing fruit

Mahendranagar, October 25, 2006

Women of over half-a-dozen VDCs in Kanchanpur district, who had been compelled to stay in Chhaupadi Kudi (separate huts constructed for women during childbirths and menstruation) during menstruation and childbirths, are staying in their houses these days.

The change became possible after local women launched a social movement against the tradition of Chhaupadi. Women of Uttar Pahariya village in Kanchanpur, along the Mahendra Highway, had destroyed 13 such huts last year.

Laxmi Budha, the group leader, said: “The huts were destroyed following talks with women and family members.” Women of Daiji VDC also destroyed nine such huts recently.

The movement against Chhaupadi is spreading in other VDCs of the district, too. Bhakta Bahadur BK, chairman of the Social Equality Campaign (SEC), Kanchanpur, said: “Eighty-three Chhaupadi Kudi have been destroyed in the district.”

The SEC is one of the groups spearheading the anti-Chhaupadi campaign.

There are over 600 Chhaupadi Kudi in rural areas of the district, said women campaigning to bring an end to the tradition of Chhaupadi. Chhaupadi tradition is still practised in Achham, Bajura, Bajhang, Doti, Darchula, Baitadi, Dadheldhura, Kailali and Kanchanpur districts of the farwestern region.

Women have to face lots of difficulties while staying in Chhaupadi Kudi.

Republican front, a strict no-no: PM

The Prime Minister and President of the Nepali Congress (NC), Girija Prasad Koirala, today said his party will not join a republican front to be formed for elections to a constituent assembly.

Addressing journalists and party activists at his residence here, Koirala said: “The NC has not given any priority to the formation of such a front. We will go to the constituent assembly polls with our own party statute and programmes.”

The CPN-UML, Maoists and small leftist parties are preparing to form a republican front for the assembly polls. Koirala rejected a proposal that he lead the front. Stating that a democratic party should not be inspired by others’ ideals, he said: “The Nepali Congress moves ahead as per its own customs.

The NC’s agenda and concept on constituent assembly polls will be clear in its election declaration.” Stating that the NC and the NCDemocratic will go for the assembly polls as one party, Koirala said: “The NC and the NC-D will be united before the elections.

I am doing by my best for the two parties’ merger.” “I am ready to take the Maoists in the interim government. I am also putting in every effort to make the peace talks a success,” Koirala said.

“I cannot wait to take the Maoists in the interim government for the restoration of peace,” he added.