State plans survey of Gollarahatti women

Women who underwent hysterectomy, oophorectomy to be identified

State plans survey of Gollarahatti women

Following recent reports of women from Gollarahattis in Hassan district undergoing hysterectomy (surgical removal of uterus) and oophorectomy (surgical removal of the ovaries), the Department of Health and Family Welfare has decided to conduct a survey to find out the truth.

The women of several Gollarahattis, near Javagal and Arsikere in Hassan district were forced to undergo the procedures, as the ‘tradition’ of the members of Golla community demanded women to be banished from their village during menstrual cycle, and after child births. 

While a few Gollarahattis near Arsikere have stopped the inhuman practice, others have clung on to the tradition.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Dr Shyamala Devi, District Health Officer of Hassan, said the survey taken up by the Department will identify the number of women who have undergone the procedures. “The survey, following the directions from the Women’s Commission, is expected to be completed in a week,” she said. Door-to-door surveys will be conducted by doctors of nearby healthcare centres, in villages where the problem is said to be persistent, she said.

State Women’s Commission chairperson Manjula Manasa, who had visited the Gollarahattis recently, said apart from directions for the survey, local health officials have been instructed to avoid performing such procedures on women, if they are opting for them to avoid banishment. “Rather than that, the doctors should advise them to protest the discrimination meted out to them,” she said.

In five villages

The discriminatory practice is identified in five villages of the district; N Gollarahatti and K Gollarahatti near Javagal; Basavarajapura and Gollarahatti near Arsikere; and Gollarahatti near Halebid. The problem would end throughout the district if the elders of N Gollarhatti and K Gollarahatti are convinced to stop the practise, said sources.

“While the younger generation is ready to get rid of it, the older generation warns of ‘wrath from God,’ if the tradition is discontinued. 

The practice has been followed for so long that separate rooms have been built near Gollarahattis to house women during menstruation and post-child birth. In one case, a room has been constructed using MLC’s funds,” the source added.

“Menstruation is a natural process. Even though there are practices related to menstruation in other communities too, they are not as discriminatory as the ones found among Golla community.

Elders of the villages, who have a significant influence on the affairs of the community, should relax these age-old norms and prevent the problems being faced by the women,” said Prasanna Kumar, an activist of Doddakodihalli, near Gollarahatti in Halebid.

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