Bungal declared far-west’s first ‘Chhaupadi free’ municipalityBungal’s Mayor Dhan Bahadur Bista says the declaration came after a long, persistent effort from the municipality and various non-governmental organisations.
Bungal Municipality in Bajhang was declared ‘Chhaupadi free’ in a function on Friday—making it the first Chhaupadi-free municipality in the far-western region.
“The declaration was made after ensuring that no woman in the municipality would be banished to Chhau Goths—menstruation huts—during their menstrual cycle,” said Khadga Bahadur Khadka, chief of the district coordination committee. “I would like to congratulate the residents of the municipality on behalf of all Bajhang natives.”
Chhaupadi is a deeply rooted Hindu tradition of banishing girls and women to secluded huts during menstruation and postpartum periods. This practice mainly prevails in the hilly districts of Sudurpaschim Province.
“The practice of Chhaupadi is a disgrace to humanity. It’s a good thing that it is practiced no more in Bungal. Other local units in the district should follow in Bungal’s footsteps,” Khadka said while addressing the declaration ceremony.
Addressing the function, Bungal’s Mayor Dhan Bahadur Bista said that the declaration came after a long, persistent effort from the municipality and various non-governmental organisations.
Bungal, with 5,600 households, is the district’s largest local unit in terms of population. According to surveys conducted by various NGOs, the municipality had a total of 144 Chhau Goths when the campaign to abolish Chhaupadi was launched 10 years ago. The number has dwindled to just eight, as per a survey conducted last year.
A series of programmes—door-to-door counseling, street plays and cleanliness drive—were launched under the campaign to raise awareness against the practice.
“With the right guidance, counseling and collective effort from all quarters, we have been able to eradicate the disgraceful practice from our municipality. We are proud of this achievement,” Singh said.
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