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Adolescent pregnancy rates high in Shuklaphatna

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KANCHANPUR — Teenage pregnancy, also known as adolescent pregnancy rates are on the rise in Shuklaphanta Municipality of Kanchanpur as early marriage continues to take place here.

The rate of teenage pregnancy is on the increasing graph as majority of girls here get married early (before 20 years) due to lack of awareness about its disadvantages. Likewise, poverty is another factor promoting early marriage in the municipality.

In a period of past 10 months, among expectant mothers visiting the Pipladi health post, 27 were from the 16-19 years of age group. Health post chief Dilip Singh Saud said only 30 pregnant above 20 underwent safe delivery in the period.

In the corresponding period last year, 26 adolescents delivered their babies in the health post. The case of Jhalari Health Post is not different, as 23 pregnant who arrived here, seeking health check-up were below 20. Most of the teenage mothers are from the ethnic and Dalit communities.

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Uterine-prolapse, birth of an underweight child and other reproductive health-related problems are common in cases of teenage pregnancies.

“A woman who is impregnated underage is likely to give birth to an underweight baby. Such mothers are advised to provide kangaroo mother care for their newborn babies to save them from possible pneumonia and malnutrition, as such babies will have low immune system,” he said.

Most of adolescent pregnant women visiting the health section of the Municipality have been found to be suffering from malnutrition, said Section chief Tirtha Raj Bhatta.

The legal marriage age for girls is above 20, and underage marriage will subject parents to three years in prison.

Approximately 30 percent child marriage is estimated to have taken place in Kanchanpur alone (30 percent girl child marriage, and 10 percent boy child marriage).

Nepal is placed in the third position in child marriage beyond Bangladesh in the first and India in the second in the South Asia.

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Indra Jatra begins

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KATHMANDU — Indra Jatra, known as the biggest festival of the Kathmandu Valley, formally began on Friday with the erection of a wooden ceremonial pole (lingo) and the fluttering of a flag named after the Hindu God Indra at Hanumandhoka.

Indra Jatra, one of the biggest festivals of the Newar community, is dedicated to the god of rain and king of heaven, Indra and celebrated for eight days.

The festival formally begins with the erection of a lingo (sacred wooden pole) at Hanumandhoka in Basantapur Darbar Square.

During the celebrations, Lakhe dances are performed on the streets of Kathmandu. The dance is one of the most popular dances of Nepal with performers wearing Lakhe costume and masks.

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There are various mythical stories related to the festival. One such popular story is about Indra who came down to earth to get a special flower parijat and Karkalo (taro) for his mother, who was fasting and worshiping Goddess Basundharadevi.

Upon landing in the Kathmandu Valley, Indra is said to have intruded into a garden to pluck the special flower for his mother. But when the the garden owner found this out, he used Tantrik powers to capture Indra and tied him with ropes in public for humiliation.

Knowing her son is tied up, Indra’s mother came down to the earth and promised the garden owner that she’d provide rain for a better harvest in return for her son.

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