Indian Girl on Her Period Forced to Stay in Hut K‌ill‌e‌d During Cyclone

Indian Girl on Her Period Forced to Stay in Hut K‌ill‌e‌d During Cyclone

November 23, 2018
A young girl in India d‌ie‌d alone in a hut during a deadly cyclone after she was forced to sleep there separately because she was on her period.  
The 14-year-old vi‌cti‌m, identified as S. Vijayalakshmi, was trapped in the isolated hut called the gaokor when cyclone Gaja made landfall in the southern state of Tamil Nadu on November 16.
She was among the 46 people who di‌e‌d in the coastal state that day, according to BBC. Over 80,000 hectares of farmland across 12 different districts were also destroyed during the powerful typhoon.
All the other members of the girl’s family survived the storm as they were safe inside their house, which was not too far from the hut.
Subscribe to
NextShark's Newsletter

A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.

Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.

Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.

According to the teen’s grandmother, they were unable to rescue her because a coconut tree that fell on the hut made it impossible to reach her.
She explained that while the family was aware that a storm was approaching, they have nowhere else to keep her since they lived far from the rest of the village.
“I told them to take her to a different place. But within hours, the cyclone had struck and we couldn’t move anywhere,” she was quoted as saying.
“We are shattered. When we saw the tree, we lost hope. We waited for villagers to help us remove the tree and pull her out of the hut.”
The girl was rushed to the hospital after the storm has subsided but the doctors declared her de‌a‌d on arrival.
Banishment of menstruating women to an outhouse for days is an ancient Hindu tradition which is still being practiced in some communities.
The controversial practice, which is based on the traditional belief that women are impure during their periods, has been widely condemned by activists and concerned groups which consider it as a “serious violation of the human rights of women.”
In response, local officials in the regions that still practice the tradition have initiated moves to improve the conditions of the gaokors, but not to end it.
The subject was featured in an award-winning Hindi short film “Gaokor– A Period House” earlier this year.
Featured image via YouTube/Mathrubhumi News
      Ryan General

      Ryan General is a Senior Reporter for NextShark




      Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.

      Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.

      We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.

      © 2023 NextShark, Inc. All rights reserved.