NHRC seeks report on practice of banishing menstruating women in Karnataka

New Delhi, June 5 (UNI) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday asked the Karnataka government to submit a detailed report regarding news of banishing menstruating women to distant and isolated huts, which lacked basic amenities such as a bed and toilet, in Bisadihalli area of Karnataka’s Tumakuru district.

The commission in a notice to the Chief Secretary of Karnataka said, “It took suo motu cognizance of a media report that a 19-year-old woman, who underwent a caesarean operation, was banished to a distant and isolated hut, as per the tradition for new mothers and menstruating women in Bisadihalli.”

Reportedly, this practice still persists even today in rural areas of several States and in Karnataka among the people belonging to the Kadu Golla community.

During this stay, the women and the newborn children are exposed not only to the vagaries of nature but also to the grave risks posed by the unhygienic conditions and the street dogs, scorpions and snakes which enter these huts, the NHRC said.

Describing the incident as a serious issue of violation of the human rights of innocent women and young babies, the commission asked for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks.

“The report should include data reflecting the places where such evil practices are still prevalent in the State and details of the steps taken and proposed to be taken by the government authorities to deal with the subject,” it added.

Meanwhile, the Commission also recorded that in the year 2013, it had received a complaint raising a similar grievance concerning the women belonging to Scheduled Tribes in Gadchiroli district, Maharashtra.

The State Government of Maharashtra had submitted a comprehensive report elaborating that it was making sincere efforts to eradicate this inhuman practice of ‘Gaokor/ Kurma’, the NHRC said.

According to the media report, carried on 27th May, the young people do not want to continue with this practice but the elders are supporting it and justifying that the huts provide much better conditions to the women and babies than their own houses. Though the government agencies conduct inspections in the village regularly, however, they were not successful in putting an end to this practice.

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