BAJURA, Jan 20: Works have begun to collect data of chhaugoths (menstrual huts) at 69 wards of nine local levels in Bajura district. The data collection is being carried out by the district police.
Chhaupadi, a practice of extreme discrimination against menstruating girls and new mothers who are sent to seclusion (to stay in unsafe huts known as chhaugoths) for a number of days, remains as a social taboo.
The data collection aims to prepare a base for launching any campaign to put an end to such ill tradition, according to Deputy Superintendent of Police, Uddab Singh Bhat.
The frequent deaths of girls and women due to such ill practice have made media headlines, prodding up those in authority and rights activists to speak against. However, the problem remains the same.
Last week, a mother and her two sons were killed of asphyxia with the Chhaugoth fire in Budhinanda municipality-9.
Owning to the physical seclusion during their periods, menstruating women are reprieved of nutritious food and dairy products and even disallowed to touch cattle.
DSP Bhata said that the works to find out the number of huts and their status are underway in coordination with the local level.
The government banned the Chhuapdi in 2005 and criminalized in 2017, but the deaths in Chhaugoths continue to occur. The District Police Office Bajura, Tante Police Post, the Area Police Kolti and Piluchaur Police Post have intensified the data collection simultaneously.
Besides, the police have been conducting public awareness campaign against chhaupadi system in villages.
Pandhara, part of Tribeni municipality-6 is expected to have the highest number of menstrual huts in the entire far-western district of Province 7.
Chief District Officer Chetraj Baral said the District Administration Office on Sunday dispatched a letter to all the nine local governments ordering to dismantle the chhaugoth. They have been requested to seek the help of people’s representatives and police administration in such efforts. RSS