The taboo attached to menstruation continues to prevail in our country for ages. From temples not letting menstruating women enter the premises to ad commercials of sanitary pads using ‘blue colored’ liquid to depict blood, menstrual blood is something that our society has never been a sport about.
Women continue to face criticism and indifference in the name of ‘periods’ in different parts of the country. The latest horrifying case has been reported in Bhuj, Gujrat. The hostel warden of Shri Sahjanand Girls’ Institute (SSGI) complained to the college authorities that some girls from the hostel have breached the rules by entering the temple premises being on their periods, reports India Today.
As per the rules of the institute, girls who are menstruating aren’t allowed to enter the temple and kitchen. They are also asked to remain isolated and not touch other girls. When the hostel warden’s complained to the principal about some girls on periods entering kitchen and getting mingled with other girls, all the 68 girls who lived in college hostel were called back from the college.
They were made to remove their undergarments to prove that they weren’t menstruating.
Sharing her ordeal, one of the girls told Ahmedabad Mirror, “The principal abused and insulted us, asking which of us were having our periods. Two of us who were menstruating stepped aside,” she said. “Despite this, we were all taken to the washroom. There, female teachers asked us to individually remove our undergarments so they could check if we were menstruating,” she added.
However, the dean of the college has rubbished all the claims and told HT, “The dean of Shree Sahajanand Girls Institute said the girls were not forced to take off their undergarments. The matter is related to the hostel. It has nothing to do with the university or college. Everything happened with girls’ permission, nobody was forced for it. Nobody touched them,” Darshana Dholakia added.
“Still, an inquiry team has been formed to look into the matter,” he said. The college belongs to Krantiguru Shyamji Krishna Verma Kutch University and is run by the followers of Swaminarayan Mandir.
“The principal, hostel rector and the trustees harass us regularly over the issue of menstruation,” another student said. The students also alleged that the executive council member of the university, Pravin Pindoria, told them they can take a legal action but threatened that they will have to vacate the hostel. Another student also claimed that Pindoria forced them to sign a letter saying no such incident occurred in the college.
“As the institute has a temple on campus, the girls have been instructed to follow the sect’s rules. However, what happened to the students is unfair. Action will be taken,” college trustee PH Hirani said told Ahmedabad Mirror.
It’s the 21st century, women have reached the space and back, and it’s heartbreaking to see some people are still stuck in the age-old baseless customs. What are your thoughts on the incident? Tell us!