Supreme Court outlawed chaupadi in 2005, yet it’s claiming lives in Achham

  • December 2, 2019

A young girl died while she was practicing chhaupadi in Achham district of Sudur Paschim Province last night. Police have identified the deceased as 21-year-old Parbati Rawat, of Siddheshwori 21, Sanfebagar municipality-3.

The Supreme Court outlawed chaupadi in 2005 and introduced a law that stipulates a three-month jail sentence and/or Rs 3,000 fine against those convicted of chhaupadi crime.

Chaupadi is a Hindu tradition practiced for centuries that banishes females during their menstruation and postpartum periods from the house. Menstruating women are thought to offend the Hindu gods and bring down a curse on their households if they remain indoors.

In addition to being prohibited from taking part in normal family activities, women who are menstruating are forced to live outside of the home in cow sheds or makeshift huts, regardless of the weather.

On November 18, 2017, 21-year-old Dambara Upadhyay lost her life while practicing chaupadi. On December 17 the same year, 15-year-old Roshani Tiruwa of Achham died from suffocation in the chaupadi shed where she was forced to sleep in because she was menstruating. Similarly, on January 8, 2018, 23-year-old Gauri Bayak (Budha) was found dead by her neighbours inside a Chhaupadi hut.

At least 12 women have died since 2006 in Achham alone while practicing chaupadi.