A teenage girl in a long skirt and bright red top spins to a Nepali folk song over a crackly speaker. Her thick black braid trails her as she whips and turns.
It’s Teacher’s Day at Beldangi refugee camp. Students at Tri Ratna Secondary School are thanking their teachers with speeches, songs, and folk dances on a bamboo stage decorated with their mothers’ saris.
This has been a yearly tradition since the school opened in 1992, when the refugees had just arrived and classes were held in an empty field. Now, they study in a modest complex of bamboo classrooms that even has a science lab and small teachers’ lounge. But there aren’t many students left.
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A 15-year-old girl died in a menstrual hut in western Nepal sometime between the night of Saturday, Dec. 17 and the morning of Sunday, Dec. 18. According to Nepal’s Republica newspaper, Roshani Tiruwa, from Nepal’s Achham district, went to the shed after eating dinner around 6 p.m. She lit a fire in the tiny mud hut before going to sleep. Tiruwa’s father found her body the next morning. District police suspect the ninth grader died from a lack of oxygen.
“There wasn’t any space for air to come in or smoke to escape so she died from suffocation,” Bhagawati Aryal, a government employee with the district Women’s Development Office, told NPR.
This marks the second death related to the practice of menstrual seclusion in Nepal’s Achham district in a month.