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  • Writer's pictureVrinda Singh Chauhan

Hurting in a hut. PMS: I Love you........

That's the bane of Premenstrual Syndrome.
She is contaminated.

Every man she touched was turning pale and was oozing out lot of blood. The poison of her blood was her power. She was the peril which made every living creature perish. The cattle around were dying by her mere touch. The plants were drooping and dying, the fruits bearing trees were contaminated with her toxic blood. The whole city was bleeding with her blood. And Ditya finally woke up with blood-ridden dirty hands.

This was the dream to which Ditya woke up every morning twilight during her banishment for bleeding. "What's this Banishment for bleeding?", would be the question in the conscious of every ITHOMian reader. Isn't it? Well! the banishment for bleeding is to banish the girls of the village Dhamilekh during their menstrual/periods days.

Chhaupadi is the other term for the menstrual cycle in the village and other villages nearby. It means the women is impure and unclean when the women is bleeding.

Ditya has to stay outside for 9 days every month when she undergoes periods. That is the story of every women who hasn't attained menopause. A specially built hut known as "Chhau" are the seclusion from the warmth of their 3-story muddy houses. The rights to cook, bathe in and drink from the village water sources are stringently snatched from every women of the village. The women living in the crawling spaces are open to wild animals and drunk men. Many women die in those spaces due to lack of hygiene and proper sanitation. Even the public toilets are not meant for them. The tattered and dirty rugs/ clothes are the only elements which can soak the bleeding.

Once, the women completes the cycle and the bleeding ceases they walk miles to the stream to bathe in. The final step of purification comes when the cow urine is poured over their heads. On the occasion of Rishi Panchami, they fast to ask for forgiveness and to clean all the impurities in their bodies, which they can transfer during any sexual intercourse.

Dozens of deaths have been reported in every 3 months in lieu of spending the painful nights alone without proper medication and sanitation. The taboos of periods are being followed through trackless years. Not just the men, even the illiterate women of the village enforce such banishment on their daughter-in-laws and daughters since they had to do it.

Huts or Chhaupadi are not the space of rescue rather small butcher-houses, where every second the painful breath is butchered.

Needless to say, the battle between power of blood or the power of blind faith is un-ending and in all these years the trophies are offered to the power of blind-faith.

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