Teenage girl dies of snake bite in Chhaupadi hut

- Post Report, ACHHAM

Jun 11, 2018-

A teenage girl has died of snake bite in menstrual exile or Chhaupadi at Turmakhand Rural Municipality-4 in Achham district.

Eighteen-year-old Parbati Budha, who had been staying in a Chhaupadi hut during her period, died after she was bitten by a poisonous snake on Saturday night. The incident happened while the victim was asleep with her friend Radhika Budha in the hut.

The victim had been awaiting her Secondary Education Examination (SEE) result.

According to Radhika, the snake fell on the victim from roof and bit in her finger. The Chhaupadi hut is in the farmland far away from the victim’s house. Parbati died in want timely treatment as the family members knew about the snake bite incident quite late.

Kabiram Budha, the ward chairman of Turmakhand-4, however claimed that the snake bit the victim while she was sleeping with her siblings but not in the Chhaupadi hut.

Chhaupadi is a deeply rooted tradition existing in the western parts of the country, wherein menstruating women and those in the postpartum period are kept in a secluded place away from the house as they are deemed impure and untouchable.

The social evil was declared a criminal offence in August, 2017. 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. Despite the anti-Chhaupadi law and campaigns, the tradition is still practiced in remote parts of Achham.

In January, Gauri Bayak (Budha), 22, was found dead by her neighbours inside a Chhaupadi hut in Turmakhand-3. Villagers suspect that she might have died of smoke suffocation from the fire she had lit to keep herself warm inside the hut.

With the Saturday’s incident, 13 girls and women died in Achham district within past 12 years.

Published: 11-06-2018 19:24

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