Print Edition - 2015-11-22  |  Letter to the Editor

MENSTRUAL EXILES

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Nov 22, 2015-

The people in the rural areas continue to strictly follow their traditional cultures and practices in-spite of facing many difficulties. As a result, these deep-rooted practices cannot be easily uprooted. Among them, chhaupadi still persists in the rural areas of mid-western and far western districts (‘Chhaupadi practice still continues in Dailekh villages,’ November 18, Page 2). This age-old practice is deeply ingrained in the minds of the rural folks. They hesitate to discontinue this belief as they strongly believe that their family members or animals will either get sick or die if they do not keep menstruating women separately.

Some women have even lost their lives while observing this illogical tradition. Many women feel very vulnerable during the first three days of their menstruation. So, they need nutritious food, warm clothes and a clean surrounding. It is very unfortunate and sad to see that the rural women are still giving continuity to this unhealthy practice.

In order to end this practice in rural areas NGOs need to regularly hold awareness programmes. It could be more effective if VDC- based government health workers are trained in ways to raise awareness of the people. If this system is regularised through sub-health posts based in each VDC, we could put an end to this insensitive practice forever in the coming days.

Rai Biren Bangdel, Maharajgunj

DANGEROUS FACE-OFF

The continuing face-off with India is proving extremely detrimental to the people of this country (‘Not much light,’ Editorial, November 11). Food prices are soaring beyond the reach of common people. Recently at a market place in Kathmandu, an old lady with just enough money for a packet of oil at the official rate of Rs 125 could not understand why the shopkeeper was asking for Rs 280. The shopkeeper, like a typical politician was uptight, crude and rude, unwilling to explain anything to the poor woman. His response was less empathetic and more hostile. I felt so sorry for  the lady that I offered to pay the difference so that she could take the oil home. When people come across such sad situations, they are naturally overcome with rage at our politicians who have

driven the country to the edge of precipice. It might be good for their ego to maintain intransigent posturing from the comfort of their newfound ‘Indralok’, but for their real masters--the people at large--it is turning out to be a matter of survival. Essential goods are disappearing from the stores only to reappear with inflated prices. The only saving grace amidst this crisis is that ‘fuel’ for the body and mind is surprisingly still available aplenty at old rates. If the government can ensure availability of alcohol, then why cannot they do so with other essential commodities? What is the solution to the problem? Just wait for India to relent? So far people’s anger has been directed at our neighbour. There is a real danger that people‘s rage might just burst open at home. In order to avert any untoward crisis, the government must urgently seek a way out of the impasse. This might require mending fences with protesters and their purported supporters on the one hand and looking for alternative supply route for commodities on the other. One way or the other the government must do whatever it takes to easy supplies at the earliest.

Manohar Shrestha, via email

Published: 22-11-2015 08:28

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