Woman Dies in CHHAUPADI practice

- MENUKA DHUNGANA, ACHHAM
Chhaupadi tradition was criminalised by the government in August 2017

Jan 9, 2018-A woman has died in menstrual exile or ‘Chhaupadi’ at Turmakhad Rural Municipality-3 in Achham district.

Police said 23-year-old Gauri Bayak (Budha) was found dead by her neighbours inside a Chhaupadi hut on Monday morning. 

“The cause of her death will be known after postmortem,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Dadhiram Neupane said. 

Villagers suspect that Gauri might have died of smoke suffocation from the fire she had lit to keep herself warm inside the Chhaupadi hut.

“Gauri had made a fire inside the hut. She might have died in her sleep due to smoke inhalation,” said Ujir Bayak, a villager.    

Chhaupadi is a tradition where menstruating women and those in their postpartum period are forced to live in seclusion because they are deemed impure. Women observing the ritual usually live in small huts or sheds.

The practice was declared a criminal offence in August last year. The government had introduced a law that stipulated a three-month jail sentence and/or Rs 3,000 fine against those convicted of Chhaupadi crime. However, enforcement of the law is sorely lacking. Despite the anti-Chhaupadi law and campaigns, the tradition is still practiced in remote parts of Achham. 

 Dambara Upadhyay, 21, of Timilsain and Roshani Tiruwa, 15, of Gajra had also died in Chhaupadi confinements last year. 

Published: 09-01-2018 07:51

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