Scores of teen moms in Chepang community

DHADING: Most of the teenage girls of Chepang community in the district are forced to give birth to babies in their early age.

Due to poverty, geographical difficulties and lack of education, girls of this semi-nomadic community are forced to get married in an early age.

Awareness-raising programmes operated by different institutions and organisations are not effective as there is not any health centre near their settlements.

Lack of health facilities has risked the lives of new born and new mothers.

Members of this minority group are not only deprived of health facilities, but also of transportation, sanitation and education.

There is only a primary school in the Jogimara area, where many Chepangs live, and they have to walk for hours for further studies. Most of the girls, hence, are married between the ages of 13 and 16 years.

Health condition of the women frequently remains critical due to early-age pregnancy and numerous childbirths. Lack of maternal care has weakened the women while children are also suffering from malnutrition.

Altogether 52 households of the community are able to feed themselves for five months only, while they have to work for the rest of the year.