“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 backlash from the community and thus don’t allow the girls to go to school,”said Uma Bhatt.
Uma Bhatt leads the team from NGO Uttarakhand Mahila Manch that paid a visit to Pithoragarh. The team headed towards a village after the information that girls are made to miss school on the days they were menstruating reached their ears. Yes you read it right. Every girl was made to stay home for 5 days a month just because of the location of a temple on their way to school.
The temple is dedicated to local God and people believe that if menstruating girls pass by the temple, this would adversely affect the purity of the temple. Hence, girls who are head strong and have a supportive family that understands the importance of education, prefer to attend schools in nearby cities or moving to relative’s places.
A teacher at the condition of anonymity tells TOI how their attempts at creating awareness amongst local folks went in vain. And that, conservative locals stick to illogical traditions no matter what.
More than teenagers, it’s the elderlies who need sex educations. Periods is just another physiological process like urination or defecation and has nothing to do with sanctity. It’s not a crime for which women must be made to suffer or endure losses/embarrassments. It’s the process that begets a new life. It must be proudly admitted and celebrated in every civilised society.