In a shocking incident that was reported on the 14th of February, 2020, a college in the Bhuj town of Northern Gujarat had ordered girl students to remove their innerwear to prove they were not menstrurating. Around 60 girl students of Shree Sahajanand Girls Institute (SSGI) have been made to do so.
The National Commission for Women have taken sup Moto cognisance of the incident and have further set up an inquiry team to visit and speak to the students out there. The National Commission has written to the Institute's trustee Pravin Pindora and the Principal Rita Raniga to give an explanation of the shameful exercise that was carried out in the institute.
“The Commission encourages the girls from the Institute to come forward and speak without fear on their grievances from this experience to the finding authority, or on any other similar incidents of exploitation if occurred to them in the past, and was not addressed before.”
The Gujarat state Women Commission (GSWC) have ordered the state police to carry out a probe regarding the sexual harassment that was carried out at the institution. The Commission is disturbed by the report of this incident at Sahjanand Girls’ Institute in Bhuj, Gujarat. The reports also states that, Kutch University authorities have taken the matter for internal query and based on the finding they would take further actions.”
It has been reported that the Principal, a teacher and a lady staff of the Institute have been responsible for removing the clothes of the girl students. While the students objected to the strip search, they were threatened on being expelled from the hostel if they did not comply to the instructions therein. According to rule of Swami Narayan sect, menstruation girls are served food separately and even seated separately from the rest.
The principal has confessed to having committed the act and has further issued an apology.
Author - Dyuti Pandya