Covid-19 and Domestic Violence

 

By Prof. Timila Yami Thapa

As the pandemic wreaks havoc on our mental and physical health, it is also quietly reshaping how people will face life in the years to come. The virus is bringing sweeping change. Rising government deficits the disease has exposed how shockingly inadequate our care infrastructure, aging care and domestic violence protection systems are.

Domestic violence

Covid-19 pandemic response system seem to have encouraged rape violence criminals to make situation worst. There are stories which are in the triumph of grit over fate. Because of infections on security personals theprotections services so far poor. Justice system to penalize the rapists in Nepal is also getting affected.

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown is having a large impact on domestic violence. Because of the lockdown, victims are forced to spend more time alone with their abusers and are isolated from their friends, family, and coworkers even more.

This creates a ripe opportunity for domestic violence to explode. Domestic violence historically increases anytime people spend more time together – including Christmas, summer vacation, and other holidays.

Domestic violence is about power and control. One can focus on gender violence and our culture. Was it always there or is it a modern phenomenon?? In patriarchy society gender violence was always there. Older days women always took it as part of their life most of them never shared this with their siblings. Gender violence was part of the culture. Current senior citizens say that mothers never complained and told their siblings even when she is going through physical abuses by her husband. She used to take such incidences as part of life. The religious doctrines also instigates such abuses by men and women are brain washed to bear with the pain in Nepalese  culture.

With the COVID-19 pandemic happening and the external environment changing in ways we’ve never seen before, many abusers who feel that they are lacking control will be taking this frustration out on their partners.The people of Nepal think that there are many incidents of rape in India and Nepal but rape is not limited to Nepal and India. It is also present in Europe, America and other parts of the world. In any case, rape should be treated as a serious crime and rapists should be severely punished.

Superstition

Nepal and India are two countries where they make goddesses out of clay, worshiped as goddesses adorned with cloth and they also have incidences of burning the living girls. They fall ill and abuse their own widowed mothers and sisters inside their homes. Technology is now available for such victims to share and learn from each other, to communicate and enrich stories, to contribute to the transformation of the local and the rest of the world. Chhaupadi system still exists in Hindu society. On the day of Rishi Panchami, women worship the sages.

Senior citizens of these days informed that girls are supposed to get married before mensuration. If by chance any one menstruates before marriageable age then she is banned from getting married. Such girls are handed over to Rishis and guardians are supposed to get blessed for such offerings. In traditional  system women were not permitted to cover their body above waist. Even Brahmin women with  clothes below waist  were permitted to enter temple.

Even well-educated women now practice lot of rituals related with superstitious belief systems. If anyone has the courage, come forward and remove it from the scriptures. How we transform the minds of new generations so that they can understand the dark side of superstition and lead a better productive life?. The present time has proved that our world can change faster than we thought.

Unscientific rituals

Science is somewhat verifiable, however very limited. Examples: Biology, Quantum Physics, Computer Science, Natural Language, Philosophy, Climate Science to name a few. Science is a part of life and everyone should have a mantra that helps to eradicate the superstitions existing in the society. People need to think from a broader perspective. Every religion teaches you to be a good person. It’s up to us how we take it into our lives. Spreading love is better than spreading hatred. However, programs that instill superstitious beliefs in people and confuse them should be discouraged. I see a serious flaw in the humanist system when women are exploited

The youth forces should gradually reject the unscientific practices of any religion and spend their time in social gatherings respecting children for their creative knowledge achievements that have been wasted. While there is much debate about how to prevent rape, concrete steps to implement the right model are rare. Nepal’s constitution should be amended to give death penalty to rapists. The status and activities of potential rapists and the status of rehabilitation facilities for victims.

All stakeholders can be mobilized to work in partnership to tackle problems collectively. This process is possible only if the government is serious about this system. According to the analytical reports submitted by the police department in various departments, the incidents are mostly seen in special time and weather and special categories of people with special conditions. It is particularly associated with poverty, unemployment, lack of education and drug use. Nepal needs to reshape the education system to change the mindset of its citizens and remodel the way citizens spend on rituals which promote blind faith..

There is a serious need to design a model to handle these people. Superstition and the superiority born in the minds of the masses are the root cause of social anomalies. Women should not be encouraged to be exploited by people in the historical context of the development of the story in the rituals of all religions. For example, many YouTube videos and online articles are available in various religions focusing on the abuse of women.

Should government completely ban activities of  Sadhus in Nepal??

During Shiva Ratri shows like nude dances, psychic activities should be banned. Distribution of drugs, smoking and feeding cocaine should be banned during Shiva temple rituals. Shameful act of these Rishis allowing women to touch their naked genital organ in  the name of taking blessings should be banned.  It has become more of a psychic pollution rather than Shiva ratripawanparba. Discriminatory act of Hindu religion is a big shameful act. If people have guts they should review and reform the doctrines.

Should future youth follow the traditional unproductive ritual systems promoting superstitions? 

On the third day called Rishi Panchsmi what do the five Rishis do after making women go through two days of fasting? Medical doctors of maternity hospital say that many case of still baby are found inside pregnant women when these women go through two days of fasting during TEEZ. Many women with gastric disease land up developing cancer after that fasting. Women with other disease suffer even more. My women especially in rural areas of Nepal suffer from the hands of husband who keep multiple wives. There are cases mentioned by NGOs who report of being sold in brothels of India through the network of Indian Sadhus.

Children and Lockdown

Children nowadays grow up with technology and the main challenges of parenting are on the internet. The best way is to limit and control their access. Covid 19 forces students to go online and children have no choice but to use smart mobiles to learn. Parents are afraid to provide smart mobiles to their growing siblings. Technology has evolved beyond our control and have improved many aspects of our lives and the knowledge of our children, but what are its risks? Parents are aware of many unfortunate events around the world

Heavy usage of gadgets, radiation has affected the brain and stopped the supply of oxygen. Use GADGETS sparingly, Avoid earphone/headset to the maximum extent possible. Humble request to all parents, guardians, please take care of your kids, teenage boys, girls, Some people are asking  them to read only hard copy books and no gadgets except for attending classes. This phenomenon is partially true only. Along with the smart gadgets children and adults should be taught to balance by leaning to undergo through rigorous excises and internalizing experiential learnings.

Decline of girls in schools of Nepal

There has been a sharp decline in the dropout rate of girls in Nepal, especially in rural areas. Parents are reluctant to give their smart phones for fear of seeing their daughters turn on the wrong track to tarnish the image of the family. There is a growing need for parents to learn and work on technology in coordination with IT experts. Access to smart phones is limited for many daughters, especially for online courses, many parents are scared and are refusing to buy smart phones for their daughters in Nepal. Due to long working hours

Many intellectuals are analyzing the stories derived from the videos. Many people believe in Nepal’s Manubadi (Manusmriti) system. Muslims and Christians believe in superstitions that are not based on scientific knowledge, so it is impossible to make them understand the real complications of this deadly Covid – 19 disease. They were unfortunately growing around temples, churches, and mosques and spreading this deadly disease by infecting more people around. They also float on various print media, television, and social media.

Aging population and Technology boom

The pandemic, and the aging of the population, is contributing to a wave of innovation aimed at olderadults.Older people will benefit from a technology boom. Specifically, the country’s experience of quarantining has spurred entrepreneurs to think about what older people will need to age at home. Nepalese policy makers should generate competent resources for generating  solutions to the health and education related problems. The most dramatic change under way is the growth in telemedicine, facilitated in part by Medicare’s decision since March to expand reimbursement to doctors for virtual visits.Wearable devices and diagnostic tests for home use will provide doctors with key information, including patients’ blood pressure and weight, and pave the way for better remote patient monitoring. Youth of Nepal who are technology savvy should be reskilled to prepare for such adoption. Amazon’s forthcoming Care Hub, free in the Alexa app, uses voice technology to notify an emergency contact if a user asks for help.

Other innovations will take aim at isolation. Already, Discover.Live Inc. provides seniors and others with virtual travel led by guides on live stream. Eldera Inc. and Table Wisdom pair older adults with, respectively, children needing homework help and foreign-born students wanting to practice English. Silvernest Inc. matches older homeowners with roommates who pay rent.

Nepal will be compelled to aggressively to recover the economy and move towards prosperity in order to be able to afford the urgent need of broadband network and smart systems with smart devices for affordable health and educational infrastructures.

The pandemic is undermining our ability to engage in activities associated with better health and longer lives, including socializing, exercising and helping others. These variables are important at all stages of life and particularly for those in midlife and older. Studies indicate that loneliness may be linked to a greater risk of death, cognitive decline, depression and heart disease. Technology can help overcome some of these problems. But online platforms like Zoom are far from a perfect substitute for the human contact we need. We are social beings, and we need human contact.

Community-based programs

Community-based programs are already expanding.Several villagers in some parts of India and social organizations pooled in funds to set up a small health care center with two beds, oxygen facilities and an ambulance, helping in early testing, isolation and timely treatment. The villagers who had to visit other towns or villages for medical facilities could now get it in the village itself.Any area with a positive case would immediately be declared as a containment zone and sealed. For the next 14 days, regular screening and contact tracing were done in these zones. There are around more containment zones within the rural areas where screening is going on.

They need to be told that they are the biggest stakeholders and infuse responsibility in them. Make them volunteers in control strategy when they are the transmitters of the disease. Do tell them this is not any government scheme about which government is lying. Rope in religious if you have to. Involve heads of temples, mosques, churches and social organizations of Hindu, Muslim, Buddhistetc if needed. Don’t just use them as punching bags. This is the least they can contribute. Why? Because what they say has tremendous weight in country like Nepal. Use your strengths like these and lessen (not avoid) cut-paste job and one-size- fits-all solutions from other countries.

Having Emergency health doctrine in place is important. This must include inter-state strategies and not just intra-state. Currently it is very indented (broken). A health doctrine will help avoid ad-hoc, kneejerk reactions. This doctrine should be kicked-in in phases depending upon the intelligence. The doctrine framework should include research on future probable pandemics, intelligence on experiments on viruses in irresponsible nations like

Human resources and IT systems

The pandemic is undermining our ability to engage in activities associated with better health and longer lives, including socializing, exercising and helping others. These variables are important at all stages of life and particularly for those in midlife and older. Studies indicate that loneliness may be linked to a greater risk of death, cognitive decline, depression and heart disease.

Technology can help overcome some of these problems. But online platforms like Zoom are far from a perfect substitute for the human contact we need. We are social beings, and we need human contact.

Learning through digital platform

The learning system has to be remodeled to adopt to new ways of acquiring knowledge.  It is very importance reskill and educate the younger generation, so that they could be more dynamic and agile in times of change. The younger generation, meanwhile, faces the challenge of adapting to the new techniques. As countries around the world begin to adjust to new norms based on Covid 19, it is important to improve productivity in order to acquire relevant skills to change the world of education.

Nepal should encourage professionals to come up with programs that will encourage them to engage in various industries with the aim of creating new technologies, social transformation and new generations for the future. Now many YouTube videos, social mediasetc are available that are linked to various religions and have been made public. You just have to be more careful while commenting on sensitive issues. Superstitions should be properly analyzed and reviewed. Youth forces should carefully analyze such videos which promotes superstition.  They should learn from the experiences of older generations and experts.

Physical  Infrastructures

Adequate beds, trained human resources, medical equipment in hospitals i.e. infrastructure in every village and not just districts.

This is the most important that community participation rather than using police, bureaucrats, health authorities for implementing infection control strategies. People should believe and understand the threat. We need to counter “such things will keep happening…Kali yup ho”,  daraikomatra ho” attitude of Nepalese. Make them aware about the threat and its consequences.

Governance system

Will government approve implementing surveillance system for arresting these rape criminals and gender violence issues? Covid -19 pandemic surveillance system can also redesigned into such system to operate in integrated manner to take care of victims in the hospitalized cases in order to share resources. Human resources from IT sector should be positioned at ward, province and central level to make all concerned stake holders functional including economists, academia and domain experts in an integrated manner.

A chairperson who have the capability to make team drivers of ward, village, other stakeholder committees functional should be selected. Women should be encouraged to take such position making them capable of handling in digital platforms after extensive and rigorous training including making them accessible to smart devices.

Rural girls should be provided with film making courses. Concerned stakeholders should encourage young girls in taking up such courses on how to be creative for protection of girls and improve their skill sets in IT sector. NGOs should be involved.

Conclusion

It’s important that governments and policy makers recognize that minimizing social and financial disruption should also be a central goal of public health policy. Nepal urgently need to develop human resources in order to recover economy due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemics. To learn good things in life one has to unlearn all the superstitions belief systems being brainwashed by religious institutions. When people learn to restructure brain plasticity with good thought all contents related to superstitions will slowly vanish and people who have been exploiting in the name of superstitions believes will be discouraged to mess up lives of innocent people.Regulators should remodel all the expenses going to towards unscientific superstitious rituals promoted by any religion should be better utilized in health and education system.

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