The practice is linked to Hinduism and considers women untouchable when they menstruate.
They are banished from the home -- barred from touching food, religious icons, cattle and men -- and forced into a monthly exile sleeping in basic huts.
In some areas, women are also made to spend up to a month in the chhau goth after they have given birth.
Two women recently died while following chhaupadi -- one of smoke inhalation after she lit a fire for warmth, while the other death is unexplained. These incidents have spurred fresh impetus to end the practice.
Chhaupadi was banned a decade ago, but new legislation currently before parliament will criminalise the practice, making it an imprisonable offence to force a women to follow the ritual.
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