Haryana women unshackle centuries-old 'tradition'

Haryana women unshackle centuries-old 'tradition'

A small village in Haryana in the national capital region made news on Thursday by breaking stereotypes and ending a 200-year- old tradition that barred women from entering a chaupal (community space used by rural elderly headmen to take decisions).

After much resistance, women in hordes came forward and cut the ceremonial red ribbon to enter the premises at Khatrika village in Sohana block of Gurugram.

"This had never happened in centuries. At least we have never seen women in the chaupal. This age-old tradition now ceases," village sarpanch Vikas Pal Yadav said on Thursday.

The transformation in the Yadav and Gujjar caste-dominated village is being attributed to the former sarpanch of Bibipur village in the state, Sunil Jaglan, the man known for the "selfie-with-daughter" campaign.

Talking to DH on Thursday, Jaglan said chaupal will also be the venue for an all-women library in the village as well.

"Women had to veil their head in reverence even while crossing the chaupal. Their entry had been banned for over two centuries because of some unfounded social traditions. There were protests and resistance in the village when we first discussed the idea to open the space for women," Jaglan said.

"But the end result was overwhelming," he added.

Village headmen and elders said women will now be able to attend and participate in village meetings as their entry is no more considered a taboo. The venue will double up as an all-women library named as "lado pustakalya" (daughters library).

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