Of late, the government has demolished altogether 1,273 menstrual sheds. Of them, 949 of Chhugoths were destroyed in Achham, 300 in Surkhet, 17 in Dailekh, seven in Bajhang, two in Salyan and one in Jajarkot.
Speaking at the meeting of the Women and Social Committee meeting at the House of Representatives, Minister for Women Children and Senior Citizens Parbat Gurung said that it was high time to review the measures taken to eradicate the practice of Chhaupadi, a menstrual taboo that forces women to live in isolation.
He also discussed the efforts and achievements made in eradication Chhaupadi system. Minister Gurung said that the measures taken to end this irrational practice should be reviewed.
The root-cause of the practice should be identified and the future direction should be taken accordingly, he added. Prem Rai, Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs, said the government was preparing to demolish four Chhaugoths of Jajarkot.
The drive has been intensified, after the Ministry of Home Affairs issued an 8-point circular to the local authorities of 19 Chhaupadi prevalent districts, to intensify the drive against the malpractice.
The ministry has strictly directed the local units to demolish Chhaugoths, generate awareness and exclude the people, who continue to practice this social evil, from the social incentives and services they have been enjoying from the government.
The Rising Nepal daily reports that the districts like, Kanchanpur, Kailali, Dadeldhura, Baitadi, Darchula, Dolpa and Rukum of the western region have no Chhaugoth.
He informed the committee that the government would introduce a comprehensive action plan, along with a clear role of the local, state and federal governments, to eradicate the ill practice.
The Ministry of Women Children and Senior Citizen has been preparing an action plan, which would help mobilise adolescent girls, teachers, parents, youth, leaders and civil society to end this social evil, Secretary of the Ministry Chandra Kumar Ghimire informed.
The practice of n Chhaupadi is so deep-rooted in western part of the country that women and girls during their menstruation cycle are forced to live in an isolated, damp and dark hut away from family, in absence of light and other basic amenities of life.
The practice of Chhaupadi is illegal in Nepal but still practiced by many communities in Sudurpaschim and Karnali States because menstruating girls and women are considered unclean and bringers of bad luck.
The practice was outlawed by the Supreme Court in 2005. In August, 2017, the practice was declared a criminal offence.
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, said Sharmila Karki, a woman activist.
Over the past decade in Sudurpaschim and Karnali States , 14 girls died in Achham and one women and two boys died in Bajura.
In the initiation of District Administration Office (DAO),Out of 1800 in Surkhet, 300 chhaugoths were destroyed in the district in a week. Chhaugoth is a separate, poorly ventilated, hut where menstruating women are made to stay for at least first five to seven days.
Following the government's direction to the local administration, the team led by Chief District Officer Basanta Adhikari demolished 300 such structures in three days.
According to the daily, the office has kept Panchapuri municipality, Barahatal rural municipality and Chaukune rural municipality in priority for the implementation of the campaign.
The traditional harmful custom locally known as Chhaupadi which banishes menstruating women and even new mothers from their homes to stay in isolation for certain days highly exists in these areas. The huts made for observing Chhaupadi are called Chhaugoths. Though these places which had been declared free from Chhaugoths, they were rebuilt again by the locals.