NHRC notice to K'taka govt over 'evil practice' of banishing new mothers to isolated huts

07:20 PM Jun 05, 2024 | PTI |

The NHRC has issued a notice to the Karnataka government over a report alleging banishing of new mothers and menstruating women to distant and isolated huts in Bisadihalli area of Tumakuru district.


In a statement issued on Wednesday, the National Human Rights Commission has observed that the content of the news report, if true, raise serious issues of violation of the human rights of innocent women and young babies.

The NHRC has taken suo motu cognisance 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 area of Tumakuru district. The hut did not have a bed or toilet, the statement said.

“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,” it said.


Accordingly, the NHRC has issued a notice to the chief secretary, government of Karnataka, seeking a detailed report 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 or proposed to be taken by the government authorities to deal with the subject, it said.

Issuing the notice, the human rights body also said that in 2013, it had received a complaint raising a similar grievance concerning 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’, it added.

According to the media report, carried on May 27, 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, they were “not successful in putting an end to this practice”, the NHRC statement said.


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