The district administration, after several attempts, is finally hopeful of ending an age-old custom at Gollarahattis (settlements of the Golla community) in Arsikere taluk.
The community has, for years, been keeping women out of the village limits during menstruation and outside their homes after the birth of a child.
The younger generation is by and large willing to do away with the custom, but elders want to retain it, said officials who held meetings with the people to end the practice.
After the birth of the child, the baby and mother stay in thatched huts outside their homes for months, regardless of the weather. In recent years, many women have even undergone hysterectomy to avoid this trauma.
H.C. Chidananda, Deputy Director of Women and Child Development, on Saturday told The Hindu that he had held three meetings with people of 20 Gollarahattis, where the custom is being followed.
“We have discussed all issues, including this particular custom, with the people. The youth are against it. But a couple of elders have been saying that if they do away with the custom, the deity, Junjappa, will get angry,” the officer said.
Zilla panchayat Chief Executive Officer U.P. Singh, District Health Officer Shymala Devi and other senior officials of the district administration conducted a meeting with village residents on August 4. “We have warned them that cases will be booked against them if they did not put an end to the custom soon. They told us that they would hold a discussion in the village and take a decision soon,” said Mr. Chidananda.
Mahalingappa, former taluk panchayat member, who has been motivating people to end the custom, said: “I am hopeful of people taking a positive step.”