,Prem Punetha TNN
Young girls from Rautgara village in Pithoragarh tehsil are forced to skip school for at least five days every month when they are menstruating as a temple dedicated to a local deity falls along the way to the institution.
Locals believe that the temple would be desecrated if women on their periods were to pass the area. This has led parents to confine menstruating girls to their homes.
In fact, the taboo has forced a few of the girls determined to get a good education to move to nearby cities and towns where they are staying with relatives. A team of the local administration will now be sent to counsel parents to allow girls to attend classes.
The issue was brought to fore when a team from the NGO Uttarakhand Mahila Manch visited the area.
Uma Bhatt who led the team told TOI that girls from the village who attend Sail Government Intercollege have been skipping school for up to five days during their period. “A temple dedicated to local deity Chamu Devta falls on the route to school. Teachers encourage girls to attend classes but parents fear backlash from the community and thus don’t allow the girls to go to school,” Bhatt said.