Girl, 14, killed by cyclone after parents forced her to sleep separately because of her period

Pedro Marrero
Nov 27, 2018
06:42 A.M.

She was placed in a precarious hut next to the family home before the cyclone hit the area and ended up trapped and killed by a fallen tree, because of the shaming custom.


Many women in rural India are still forced to sleep apart from others during their periods, but this time the practice had fatal consequences for a teenage girl named S Vijayalakshmi, as Daily Mail reported.

Coastal and delta districts in Tamil Nadu, India, were struck by tragedy on November 16, when the cyclone Gaja made landfall, killing at least 46 people according to BBC.

Vijayalakshmi would be alive if she had been properly sheltered with the rest of her family, and villagers are calling this a “wake up call” against segregating menstruating girls. Read more on our Twitter account @amomama_usa


In large parts of rural India, menstruation is still a big taboo, so far as for women to be considered impure during their periods, and the family of this poor girl couldn’t make an exception in this dangerous situation.

The girl’s grandmother, S Visalakshi, revealed than the parents knew the storm was approaching, and since there was no other building near their home apart from the hut, they kept her in there, exposed to the fury of nature.

The area affected by the natural disaster suffered great human and material losses. Apart from the dead toll, thousands were left homeless, with 351 camps currently housing the survivors.


"I told them to take her to a different place. But within hours, the cyclone had struck and we couldn't move anywhere. 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."

-S Visalakshi, BBC, November 21, 2018.

Local social activist Veerasena shared that both rich and poor families observed the misogynistic tradition to this day.


The area affected by the natural disaster suffered great human and material losses. Apart from the dead toll, thousands were left homeless, with 351 camps currently housing the survivors.

More than a thousand trees were uprooted and thousands of electric poles were damaged, the Hindu Times reported.

Now, the government is on the watch to battle the spreading of disease that normally follows this kind of event. For this, 230 medical camps have been set up.


Wind and water devastated this part of India, but in the US, it is the California wildfire that is causing so much tragedy and chaos, with at least 31 people reportedly having lost their lives and thousands of homes being destroyed.

The disaster is considered the third deadliest wildfire in the state, and as of Sunday, November 11, it had consumed 196.000 acres, 6.435 homes, and 260 commercial structures.

According to Jerry Brown, the Governor of California, more than 149,000 people have been evacuated as a result of the fires.

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