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Can't have rules violating students' dignity: NCW

NCW representatives met girls of the Gujarat college who were allegedly forced to strip by the authorities to prove that they were menstruating

Sabrangindia 17 Feb 2020

BHUJ

A team of seven members from the National Commission for Women (NCW) met the girls of the Shree Sahajanand Girls Institute (SSGI) in Bhuj, Gujarat, who were allegedly forced by the hostel authorities to strip to prove that they were menstruating, The Indian Express reported.

The police have also formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) including women personnel, inspectors and sub-inspectors to probe the reported incident at the college which is run by a trust of the Swaminarayan Temple. Statements of the students, apart from hostel staff members and other people who knew about the incident have been recorded by the police.

The members of the NCW who met more than 40 girls said that they were shocked to find out that a register was being maintained at the hostel to keep track of their dates of menstruation on which they were holed up in a room for three days and made to eat and sleep separately.

NCW member Rajul Desai said, “An educational institution works for social transformation. This transformation requires a change in our dogmatic tradition. But if such an incident takes place in 21st century, then this is definitely a matter of shame and disgrace.” She added, “We will get to know about the whole thing only after proper investigation. But we were shocked to find that a majority of girls agreed to this practice being followed in the name of religion.”

Expressing shock over the statements of the girls who said they were okay with the practice followed by the institution she said, “The response of the girls was shocking. While we talk about right to education, and while the commission is working to bring about legal awareness among women, the girls here said they consented to the rules framed by the hostel authorities regarding how they should eat and sleep during days of menstruation. We object to this,” adding that the NCW would also investigate if the girls were giving out such statements under pressure.

Desai also told reporters that the team would talk to the girls who weren’t present at the meeting today, citing that the incident was one about a “good and bad impact on society”. She asserted, “Should women in an educational institution be asked to follow such rules that put to question their right to dignity? No educational institute can force such a rule on girl students. Even if the institution is associated with religion, it cannot compel girls to follow such rules.”

While saying that the NCW team would probe the matter over the next two days, she said it also sought to find out if the college has an internal anti-sexual harassment committee with well-trained members.

Last Tuesday, over 60 girls at the institution were made to remove their undergarments by a woman staffer to check if they were menstruating. Four people – the Principal, hostel coordinator, hostel supervisor and a peon, have been booked in the incident.

 

Related:

Four, including Principal, booked for humiliation of 68 girls in Bhuj hostel
Don’t label anti-CAA protesters ‘traitors’, people bound to defend rights in a democracy: Bombay HC
Death by excreta: The cursed lives of India's manual scavengers

 

Can't have rules violating students' dignity: NCW

NCW representatives met girls of the Gujarat college who were allegedly forced to strip by the authorities to prove that they were menstruating

BHUJ

A team of seven members from the National Commission for Women (NCW) met the girls of the Shree Sahajanand Girls Institute (SSGI) in Bhuj, Gujarat, who were allegedly forced by the hostel authorities to strip to prove that they were menstruating, The Indian Express reported.

The police have also formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) including women personnel, inspectors and sub-inspectors to probe the reported incident at the college which is run by a trust of the Swaminarayan Temple. Statements of the students, apart from hostel staff members and other people who knew about the incident have been recorded by the police.

The members of the NCW who met more than 40 girls said that they were shocked to find out that a register was being maintained at the hostel to keep track of their dates of menstruation on which they were holed up in a room for three days and made to eat and sleep separately.

NCW member Rajul Desai said, “An educational institution works for social transformation. This transformation requires a change in our dogmatic tradition. But if such an incident takes place in 21st century, then this is definitely a matter of shame and disgrace.” She added, “We will get to know about the whole thing only after proper investigation. But we were shocked to find that a majority of girls agreed to this practice being followed in the name of religion.”

Expressing shock over the statements of the girls who said they were okay with the practice followed by the institution she said, “The response of the girls was shocking. While we talk about right to education, and while the commission is working to bring about legal awareness among women, the girls here said they consented to the rules framed by the hostel authorities regarding how they should eat and sleep during days of menstruation. We object to this,” adding that the NCW would also investigate if the girls were giving out such statements under pressure.

Desai also told reporters that the team would talk to the girls who weren’t present at the meeting today, citing that the incident was one about a “good and bad impact on society”. She asserted, “Should women in an educational institution be asked to follow such rules that put to question their right to dignity? No educational institute can force such a rule on girl students. Even if the institution is associated with religion, it cannot compel girls to follow such rules.”

While saying that the NCW team would probe the matter over the next two days, she said it also sought to find out if the college has an internal anti-sexual harassment committee with well-trained members.

Last Tuesday, over 60 girls at the institution were made to remove their undergarments by a woman staffer to check if they were menstruating. Four people – the Principal, hostel coordinator, hostel supervisor and a peon, have been booked in the incident.

 

Related:

Four, including Principal, booked for humiliation of 68 girls in Bhuj hostel
Don’t label anti-CAA protesters ‘traitors’, people bound to defend rights in a democracy: Bombay HC
Death by excreta: The cursed lives of India's manual scavengers

 

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