Published: 29th November 2018
Girls in Uttarakhand village forced to skip school during menstruation as temple is in the way
Locals at the Rautgara village believe that if these girls pass through the route during their periods, the holy temples will get desecrated
Amid the long-standing controversy over the entry of women into Kerala's Sabarimala temple, here's another story from a remote village in Uttarakhand that proves menstruation is a taboo in our country to an unbelievable extent. Parents in Rautgara village in Pithoragarh tehsil in Uttarakhand are forcing their daughters to skip school during the five days of their menstrual cycle because a temple falls on the route to their school.
This issue had been first spotted by an NGO named Uttarakhand Mahila Manch. The NGO's head, Uma Bhatt, said that the girls at the village who go to the Sail Government Intercollege, have been skipping school every month for five days.
"A temple dedicated to local deity Chamu Devta falls on the route to school. Teachers have been trying to encourage girls to attend classes but parents fear a backlash from the community and thus don’t allow the girls to go to school," Uma told the Times of India.
Locals at the Rautgara village believe that if these girls pass through the route during their periods, the holy temples will get desecrated. This mentality has forced the parents to confine their daughters at home and refrain from sending them to school on those days. However, some girls who are determined to complete their education despite the taboo, have shifted to nearby villages or towns to live with their relatives in order to attend school.
The universality of the taboo surrounding menstruation even in the 21st century can be attributed to low awareness about menstrual hygiene among both men and women, inaccessibility to proper education facilities and also the understanding of puberty and reproductive health. In order to spread awareness in the village about menstruation, a team from the local administration is supposed to visit the village.